WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - It is no tolerance when it comes to threats being made to schools.
Within the past week at least five Texas students have been investigated for terroristic threats, two right here in Texoma, including one in Nocona and one in Bowie.
"There are real consequences to these posts or these text messages that are sent out," said WFPD Sergeant Harold McClure.
But what makes these types of statements a crime?
"If they feel this person that's making the threat has the means to carry this out, and it's placing them in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, that constituents a terroristic threat," said Sgt. McClure.
These threats can be verbal, a text or a post on social media. Either way school districts and police are taking them all seriously, especially because of the number of school shootings we have seen over the years.
Last fall Superintendent Jeff Byrd dealt with a terroristic threat made towards Vernon ISD, so he knows the importance of speaking out and acting quickly.
"People are not taking any chances on any reports because we don't want to guess wrong," said Superintendent Byrd. "At the end of the day, we want to be over cautious and make sure everyone is safe."
Sergeant McClure said if it turns out to be nothing, no harm no foul, but if it turns out to be something where action needs to be taken law enforcement will be in a position to do that.
He said that is why parents need to talk about this with their children.
"And say what you send matters," said Sgt. McClure.
He adds a lot of times it is a parent who alerts school districts and police.
"It'll be a responsible parent that was monitoring their child's phone, or they had good communication with their child and they said hey mom hey dad I just got this text or I just got this picture," he said.
Keeping an eye on your child's social media use is also important
"You're not being nosey, you're not being too strict, you're being a responsible parent that is taking care of their family," he said.
A terroristic threat is a Class B Misdemeanor that includes possible jail time and a fine.
Sgt. McClure said it can also be classified as a felony depending on the circumstances.
If you see a threat circulating online police are reminding you to screenshot or save the image so they will have it as evidence.