SANTA CLARITA (CBSLA.com) — Deputies say they’ve arrested a 13-year-old student in Santa Clarita for texting another student threats involving school violence.
Authorities were notified around 8 p.m. Sunday after the student who received those text messages posted a screenshot of the conversation on social media site Instagram.
The arrest came the same day another high school student in the Santa Clarita area was taken into police custody for posting on Instagram that he was going to wage a school shooting. Deputies said the 15-year-old posted threatening notes and stock pictures of weapons with promises to hurt or kill a number of people. He seemed to be targeting Valencia High School. Authorities later determined it wasn’t a credible threat and that the student was trying to prank his friends.
The student in the second incident was arrested for allegedly sending threatening text messages which were also meant as a prank. Deputies said the teen sent the texts to a friend using an app online that sends the messages from a new phone number. His friend didn’t know who he was speaking to, became alarmed and posted the conversation on his Instagram account instead of contacting law enforcement.
The 13-year-old suspect was taken into custody and will be released into the custody of the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
In the wake of these two incidents, Santa Clarita police increased patrols Monday at schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District and spoke with parents and students to try and ease any concerns.
Deputies also urged the public to be careful with what they post on social media. They encouraged parents to talk with their teens about the consequences of posting photos and statements online, especially when they threaten to commit a crime.
Deputy Joshua Dubin offers parents the following tips:
– Establish guidelines with your child before allowing him or her to use social media such as reviewing your child’s posts before posting.
– Ensure your child is using privacy settings.
– Caution your child about the dangers of posting inappropriate or provocative information or images. Once something is posted online, it cannot be taken back.
– Encourage your child to come to you if anything on a blog site or social media makes him or her feel uncomfortable.