SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – A 17-year-old high school student accused of making social media threats of mass violence at multiple Johnston County high schools is behind bars, according to the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.
The teen was arrested on Wednesday afternoon and taken into custody for making threats at Corinth Holders High School, Smithfield Selma High School and South Johnston High School, officials said.
The teen is currently being held in a juvenile detention facility in Raleigh.
The sheriff’s office said in a release that students often think that because of their age there aren’t many harsh penalties associated with their crimes.
“However, as yesterday’s investigation shows, deputies will work hard to ensure that even juveniles will be held accountable for their actions,” the release said.
The local sheriff also said there has been many disruptions in classrooms because of social media recently.
“We continue to see, much too often, disruptions in our classrooms, including social media threats of violence. Students, school staff, parents and grandparents, law enforcement, and our communities as a whole, are tired of seeing our students being fearful in an environment where they should feel safe to learn,” Sheriff Steve Bizzell said.
Bizzell went on to say that deputies will continue to focus on making sure those guilty of making threats face serious consequences.
“As Sheriff, our deputies will continue to use their expertise, training, and all other resources available to track down these individuals that are terrorizing our kids and grandkids, and hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
The sheriff’s office did not say what the teen is being charged with and because of their age, their identity has not been released.