DA: Nine minors charged in recent threats to local schools

DA's office has seen 19 cases since FL shooting
Nine minors charges in recent threats to schools
Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 19, 2018

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Since the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, the San Diego County District Attorney's office has seen 19 cases of local school threats.

Nine juveniles so far have been charged criminally, according to District Attorney Summer Stephan.

"We can't assume that the threat is a joke," Stephan said.

Stephan said that even though there is not an intent to carry out a school shooting, the person behind a social media threat could face a felony charge if they determine there is an intent to cause fear.

Students could receive consequences ranging from custody time, community service, additional mental health services, restorative justice, or access to social media taken away ordered by a judge.

San Diego County school threat timeline:

"When they hear the judge mention taking their social media away, you can see their faces change over that," Stephan said. "It's important that parents and [the] community really talk to their kids."

Stephan said investigators look at a number of factors when determining which cases rise to the level of charges.

"We have to look at do they have access to weapons? Have they acquired weapons recently? Have they visited websites that indicate a fascination with school shootings and violence?" Stephan said.

Of the 19 cases, Stephan said eight cases "did not rise to the level" of criminal charges. However, she said they will work with the minor and the family to prevent a similar situation in the future. A couple of the other cases are still under investigation.