For some reason, high school and even college students around the world seem to think that they can post threatening messages on Twitter without consequence.
There are adults guilty of doing this as well no doubt, but just as dog attack stories always focus on pitbulls, teens seem to bear the brunt of these bad behavior reports. We would all do well to learn from these students’ mistakes.
If you grew up in pre-Internet and caller ID years (or if your parents did), you likely participated in (or heard stories about) telephone pranks. Some were harmless, while others were pretty serious – though no one really paid much attention to them at the time.
Take bomb threats, for example. Kids would call in bomb threats to get school shut down for the day. It didn’t happen too often, but when it did one didn’t hear many stories about kids getting arrested or expelled for it. And then, in the U.S., Columbine happened. And we (slowly) started paying attention to bullying and began taking kids’ threats VERY seriously.
These days, bomb scares are genuinely scary and everyone knows it. School lockdowns are common and decidedly not funny. Yet, teens are still tweeting threats with abandon and seem surprised when they get arrested and expelled from school for it.
Two teens in New Jersey, a high school sophomore and a junior, were both arrested and expelled this week after posting threatening messages on Twitter. The junior posted about bombs in a locker that was set to go off and the sophomore posted about shooting others and himself.
Some people think the punishment, being expelled by the school, is an overreaction. What do you think?
(Young man sitting on school steps image from Shutterstock)