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Fake school threats can cause students to face real consequences

A student can be charged with a terroristic threat if they make a fake threat against a school, which can be a felony.

TEXAS, USA — In recent days, multiple Texas schools have been the target of hoax 911 calls and fake threats.

Just last week, Lockhart police said a 12-year-old girl wrote a threatening note on a piece of toilet paper in a bathroom at Lockhart Junior High School. Now, police said she is facing a felony charge for a terroristic threat.

According to Texas Code, the least severe charge for a terroristic threat is a misdemeanor. Someone can be charged with this if they have the intent to place any person in fear of serious bodily injury. A person can be fined up to $4,000 and face up to one year in jail for this.

The most severe charge for a terroristic threat is a felony. This is what you will most likely face if you threaten a school. Texas Code states that the crime will be a felony if the person has the intent to place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury. If charged with this, the person could face two to 10 years in prison.

Regardless of the intention, officers take all threats seriously. 

"We can't be lulled into a false sense of security and think maybe this isn't a real threat when really it was," said Craig Gripentrog, the patrol commander with the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. 

Gripentrog said students are sounding the alarm more often.

"They're more open to now make these complaints and call a law enforcement because they know they don't want this in their schools," Gripentrog said. "As officers, it's our job to get into the schools and educate the students. So there are consequences for these false reports that are being made." 

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