Belleville student 'jokes' on Twitter about someone bringing gun to school

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by KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on January 18, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 18 at 5:35 PM

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) – A Belleville West High School student admitted to posting on a social media site that someone was going to bring a gun to school.

School officials say a parent of a student at the high school called the principal early Friday morning after being told by their teen about the tweet.

“The statement implied that there would be school violence today at Belleville West,” said Belleville School District Superintendent Dr. Jeff Dosier.

The school district immediately called to ask for extra officers at the school. As the tweet began to spread, they launched an investigation.

“We had several calls from parents who were also monitoring their child’s Twitter account, so we were able to get a lot of information pretty quickly,” said Dosier.

School officials were able to identify the student. One school official said when they questioned the student about the post, he admitted to writing it, but said he meant it as a joke. The exact text of the Tweet was not released.

Dosier said he thought school officials moved quickly enough to prevent a widespread panic at the school. The tweet was taken down early, so by the time students arrived most did not know about it. They don’t think any parent chose to keep their kids home.

School officials haven’t decided the punishment, but the stunt could get the teen kicked out of school. Just a month after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., local officials want to get their message across to students and their parents.

“Our society is not in a place where we can take those lightly. So statements made jokingly or irresponsibly, we have to take seriously,” said Dosier.

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