Since the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the FBI reports there has been an overwhelming increase in threats to schools across the nation. Since February 14, these threats have impacted a significant number of schools in Louisiana, requiring law enforcement agencies to respond and investigate these potential threats.
Louisiana law enforcement officers have responded to over 106 school threats. Of those calls, law enforcement officers were able to identify and arrest 62 individuals. Those arrested ranged in age from 11 to 28 years old, most of which were juveniles. Most were charged with violations of Louisiana Revised Statute 14:40.1, Terrorizing, and face maximum penalties of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $15,000 fine, or both. In cases where social media was utilized, they could also face federal charges, including Title 18, United States Code 875(c), Threatening Interstate Communications, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
School threats are being taken seriously, and a zero-tolerance policy is in place. All threats will generate law enforcement response, leading to an immediate investigation, to include swift and severe criminal charges.
If it is discovered during the course of an investigation a false school threat was intentionally reported, prosecution will be considered.
The FBI New Orleans Field Office and the Louisiana State Police urge the public that if you "See Something Say Something", and to report all suspected school or similar threats to law enforcement immediately.