Sherman High student arrested for making online death threats

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

SHERMAN, Tex. -- A Sherman teenager is in custody Wednesday for making deadly threats. Sherman police say the student made the threats over MySpace.

Sherman ISD administrators say the schools have internet blockers to keep kids off sites like MySpace and Facebook when they are at school, but police say these threats were made on a computer off campus for an act they say the boy planned to carry out at school.

MySpace is a source of entertainment, a place for friends, but it became a place to make threats.

"You don't know why someone is doing it, whether to arouse suspicious or to make a threat," Sherman police Sgt. Bruce Dawsey says.

Police say a 15-year-old Sherman boy posted threats on another girl's MySpace page over Spring Break, saying he had a pistol, was ready for school, and that three people were going to die.

The girl's parents called police, who began their investigation. They searched the boy's home and did not find any weapons.

"Whether this kid posted it and really planned on doing this or not, we still take it serious and that's why we filed the charges we did," Sgt. Dawsey says.

Those filed were felony charges for making a false report or alarm.

"We always encourage students when and if you are on those areas, make sure you use them for positive reasons," Sherman ISD superintendent Dr. Al Hambrick says.

School administrators say they try to teach students how to act properly online whether or not they're using school computers. They say they are seeing more arguments and altercations because what someone posted about someone else on the internet.

"They can say it without having to say it face to face. It's sort of an easy way out so we work hard at working with and helping them understand it's always better to treat people the way you want to be treated," Dr. Hambrick says.

While law enforcement and school officials treat every threat seriously, in this case the girl's parents saw the comments and called police. Police urge other parents to monitor their children's internet use. As for the student, if convicted he could face jail time and fines.

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