Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton has charged a 17-year-old student of Flint Southwestern Classical Academy with threatening to shoot up the school.
An assistant principal at the school was alerted to the incident and made a report to Flint police, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The police investigation revealed the student was on her way to school on a school bus the morning of Dec. 2 when she recorded a video on her phone in a rap-style message in which threats of shooting up the school “like Oxford” were made and posted to social media.
The student has been charged as a juvenile with one count of false threat of terrorism and one count of using a computer to commit a crime, each a 20-year felony if convicted, according to the prosecutor’s office.
“My message to our community has been loud and clear over the years whenever we have had instances of so-called ‘copycat threats’ following a school shooting or other mass shooting incidents around the country and that message is that it is not a joke, it is a crime and it will be treated as such,” Leyton said. “I’m not going to try to figure out whether this incident in Flint today was intended to be a joke or whether it was a credible threat, the bottom line is that it’s a crime. Michigan law specifically states that it is not a defense if the person did not have the intent or capability of following through on the threat.”
Leyton said that he has made several presentations to schools around Genesee County in recent years with a stern warning that anyone who makes a threat to shoot up a school or set off a bomb or threaten to commit any similar act of terrorism at a school will face serious consequences.
“Not only do students face possible suspension and expulsion from school but they will face prosecution by my office and that is no joke,” Leyton said. “I want parents to hear this message and, I want them to have a serious discussion of this matter with their kids. “Oxford is not that far from Genesee County and my heart goes out to the families of the victims, the school, and the entire Oxford community. This one has hit especially close to home and I want my message to get out there to every home in Genesee County.”