Students could face jail time for making school threats
YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - Grandview, Granger, Sunnyside and West Valley schools are among those who've faced threats this week.
Some were verbal threats, some were written on a bathroom stall and some were threats made on social media.
Police arrested seven students so far in these cases and Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic said the county has a zero tolerance policy for threats made.
"Threats and bringing firearms to school is not tolerated by our office or by any law enforcement agency," Brusic said.
He said all threats are taken very seriously and the teens can face up to 30 days in jail, up to 12 months of supervision and up to 100 hours of community service.
Brusic said these teens can be charged with misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the threat.
"If they threaten them with bodily harm that is a gross misdemeanor," he said. "If they threaten them to kill and it's reasonably taken by that person that they're threatening then that could be a class C felony."
These convictions can stay on someone's record, giving them a criminal history and possibly impacting job or college opportunities in the future.
We reached out to our viewers on Facebook to ask them what they think could be done to stop these threats and here are some of the responses.
Brusic said if these threats against schools continue to happen as frequently as they are, they may have to look into taking other actions.
"If this continues the way that it is continuing and if there's not some progress made in terms of accountability then I'm sure that this will be approached in the near future by the legislatures over in Olympia to determine what, if anything needs to be done," he said.
We also asked the school districts who had threats this week the type of punishment students can face for making threats against the school or another person. Sunnyside School District said they investigate every threat and perpetrators can face serious consequences including being suspended, expelled and other legal repercussions as well.