LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — The recent rash of school lockdowns due to threats on social media and elsewhere has led many to wonder what can be done to stop it.
Don Landry, the District Attorney for the 15th JDC, says there will be consequences for those making social media threats, including criminal consequences, because these threats can cause emotional damage to students, parents, and staff at schools.
Landry tells News 10’s Renee Allen he has a plan that he hopes will deter those who may commit this crime.
Landry said he wants to carry the message straight to students and has a plan to team up with the school system.
“We will be asking them to let us come in and explain to our young people how serious we are about these violations of law,” he said.
Landry said he has spoken with local law enforcement officials who expressed a willingness to go into the schools with him.
There is a safety concern that begins when the call of a social media threat is reported, Landry said.
“We got police cars with lights and sirens we got fire trucks with lights and sirens we got ambulances dispatched,” he said. “Certainly there could be an accident on the way there trying to get there as quickly as possible.”
According to state law, the charge of terrorizing can carry a fine of up to $15,000, up to 15 years of imprisonment or both. Another charge is menacing, which is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to 2 years of imprisonment or both.
For a person under 18 that’s a lot of time to lose.
The social media threats that have recently poured into area schools have left parents, law enforcement officers and community leaders crying out.
“As a parent and as a first responder, yes, it is scary because our children are at these schools where these bomb threats and shooting threats are being called,” Lafayette Police Spokesperson Sgt. Robin Green said.
The public is demanding something be done to get young people to understand the impact of terrorizing through social media.
“I can tell you now if it be one of mine you don’t have to send the police,” Lafayette Councilman A.B. Rubin said. “You can send an ambulance because we need to start letting them know the severity of how serious this is.”