Local mother says justice system failed bullied son

Boy arrested after posting Facebook threat

SAN DIEGO - A mother told 10News her 12-year-old son was arrested after he threatened to bring a rifle to school, but she believes the justice system failed him.

"He didn't say, 'I am going to shoot you … I'm going to shoot anybody,'" said Crystal. "They just took our son in handcuffs and just took him away."

Last February, Crystal's son was arrested and taken to Juvenile Hall for posting of Facebook: "I'll bring my dads 30-6 to school then you will see …"

Crystal's son was referring to a .30-06 rifle the family has locked up inside their home.

"We were like, 'What did you do?' because they made it sound like he was going to do some mass shooting at his school," said Crystal.

Before her son's Facebook post, Crystal said her son sent Chet F. Harritt Principal Andy Johnston a message via Facebook that told him about the bullying he was experiencing.

Crystal said Johnston saw her son's post about the rifle and called the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

"Do you fault the principal at all?" asked 10News reporter Jennifer Jensen.

"Well, I just wish he would have contacted us," said Crystal.

10News contacted the Santee School District and Superintendent Dr. Cathy Pierce sent a written statement that read, in part: "… there are a vast array of safety measures and protocols in place to protect our students."

"I know they are following protocol and it was so close to what happened with Sandy Hook," said Crystal.

Crystal's son was charged with two felonies.

"There's no way he could have gotten access to it (the rifle)?" asked Jensen.

"No way. My husband is there and he's the one to take him to school," said Crystal.

After four court hearings and $5,000 in attorney's fees, Crystal's son accepted a plea deal -- a misdemeanor for disturbing the peace.

"Has he learned his lesson?" Jensen asked.

Crystal said, "I hope so, but I have also learned that bullies get away with it."

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