Former St. Charles middle school student posts gun threat on Facebook

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by KMOV.com Staff | @KMOV

KMOV.com

Posted on January 22, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 23 at 6:54 PM

(KMOV.com) -- After a former St. Charles School District student posted on Facebook about bringing a gun to school to settle a dispute, a police investigation sprung into motion.

The student now lives in the St. Louis area, but when someone saw the post, authorities thought the threat applied to a school in the St. Charles District.

News 4 was told the juvenile is a former student at Hardin Middle School. The threat was not on the district’s Facebook page, but on his personal page.

“Apparently there was some type of issue between this juvenile and another person juvenile or adult,” said Erik Lawrenz with the St. Charles Police Department. “[He] posted something on Facebook saying he was going to bring a gun to school and take care of business. Obviously when we get that we’re going to investigate that.”

The investigation was turned over to juvenile authorities.

A juvenile officer told News 4 charges will not be filed and the young man is now “receiving services.”

St. Charles Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Marion said the problems associated with threats made on Facebook, Twitter or other social media are something the district deals with on a daily basis.

He also said it’s a much bigger problem than most people realize. Students post in a moment of anger or high emotion and it’s get out of hand quickly.  

“We are trying to get the message out there, they’re kids,” Marion said. “Now you see it on Facebook, [it has a] life of its own.”

“Once it’s out there it’s out there forever to see,” Lawrenz added. “Before you actually hit that send button think of ramification, may come back to haunt you.”

Police say any time anyone posts any sort of threat there’s a heightened sense of alert. It could be someone blowing off steam or a valid threat, but they’ve got to investigate to see if the threat is real or not.

The young man was facing a possible charge of “making a terroristic threat.” 

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