"Threat was to shoot my child": Facebook threats prompt family to take action
Reporter: Marcelino Benito
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - If someone on Facebook threatened to shoot your child, how would you react? Would you brush it off as a joke or take action? One mother did take it seriously.
"Your heart just kind of drops," said Kelly, the student's mother.
She uncovered a series of violent threats toward her child on Facebook.
"The threat was to bring a shotgun to school and shoot my child," Kelly said.
All the threats made online by minors towards a student at Sahuaro High School. 9OYS can't release their names, but we can show you what was said.
One student wrote, "I will find you and I will kill you."
Another wrote, "Gun to head, it's time to die."
Another student pipes in writing, "You won't lay a finger on him, if you do that you'll be stealing my kill."
Perhaps most troubling, this post: "I have to get serious and blast you with a shotgun."
"I think we need to take it seriously," said Kelly. "I think students need to understand you don't joke about this stuff."
Kelly called Sahuaro and reported the incident. She says it was teachers there that told her to tell police.
"I was tired of it," she said. "This is not the first, second, third, fourth or fifth time. At some point, I mean how many times does my child have to go through this."
Kelly tells 9OYS the school acted swiftly. TUSD released a statement which in part read:
School leadership worked with district safety officers on the internal investigation and subsequently the students involved with making the threat have been disciplined in accordance with district policies.
"The attention they've given this is thorough," said Kelly.
Tucson Police responded to the home last night. A spokeswoman tells 9OYS it appears the threats were a joke, but the case will be reviewed by detectives next week.
Kelly tells us she doesn't regret speaking up because now a days you just never know.
"Our kids are vulnerable," said Kelly. "They say it's a joke, they don't mean it, but who's to say one time they do mean it."
Now the District would not tell us exactly what disciplinary action will be taken, but the family tells us Sahuaro will have some mediation sessions between the students involved and the victim. They want to make sure they put an end to the bullying this student has experienced.
Tucson Police also say no threats of violence will be tolerated. Police will investigate any threat called in against students at school.
Editor's note: the video version of this story contained a brief shot of a Facebook page that, if frozen in still-frame mode, could be seen to reveal some private names and an obscenity. The names were attached to comments, not threats. KGUN9 regrets and apologizes for the error, and has removed the video from our website.