The headlines are all too common.
Near the Oklahoma City metro area, Yukon Public Schools closed Tuesday due to social media threats.
In Edmond, several schools were placed on lockdown after Edmond Police received a threat.
In Northwest Oklahoma, Freedom Public Schools closed Tuesday following a threat made over social media the night before.
In Southeast Oklahoma, a teen waitress at a pizza restaurant who boasted to a co-worker and friends about her new AK-47 rifle was arrested for what police said was threatening to “shoot 400 people for fun” at McAlester High School.
In that case, the 18-year-old suspect was charged with perpetrating a felony terrorist hoax.
Kids like to push boundaries on social media, but enough is enough.
We need to tell our children that this is serious business with real-world consequences.
School shooting threats are escalating, causing anxiety and frustration for our educational community.
All threats obviously need to be taken seriously to ensure the safety of students and teachers.
Effective Nov. 1, 2019, a new Oklahoma law will go into effect concerning obscenity, threats, or harassment by telephone or other electronic communication.
That new law makes it illegal to use a telecommunication or other electronic communication, whether or not conversation ensues, with intent to put the party called in fear of physical harm or death.
A first offense conviction is a misdemeanor. Any second or subsequent offense is a felony.
Enid Police Department Sgt. Nick John recently spoke with local students about responsible use of social media.
He warned the students about making threats via social media.
He said there are cases every day that he and other detectives investigate.
“If you guys make threats to somebody and someone finds out about it, you are going to see one of us,” he said.
Adults in our society need to take a more proactive role and warn our kids to cut out this disruptive, socially unacceptable behavior.