SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation is getting involved in the effort to stop online threats against schools with #ThinkBeforeYouPost.
In an FBI video, an arrested suspect tells his story.
“At the time, I just wasn’t thinking. I used social media to vent,” he says. “I wished I would have thought about effects of scaring people. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”
We’ve seen it happen here: social media threats at places like Springville High School and Wasatch High and a failed attempt to bomb Pine View High in St. George.
FBI Special Agent Dan Brady told News4Utah why people post these threats.
“Sometimes they want fame,” Special Agent Brady said. “Sometimes they want to show control but at times it can be an early indicator of a violent thought that could turn into something else so we absolutely have to pursue every one of these until we find the person responsible and determine what it is they were trying to accomplish…This comes at a huge cost to local law enforcement and to federal law enforcement and these are taxpayer dollars that are being wasted.”
Agent Brady has a message for anyone considering making a threat on social media.
“Don’t do it,” he warned. “It’s just not a joke. It’s not funny. It is a crime.”
A crime called Making a Terrorist Threat that could land you in a federal prison cell for 5 years.
“Sadly young people who do this often don’t think through all of the other consequences,” Brady said. “Sometimes injuries result from a hoax. If an injury results the federal crime will go above five years, it could be up to 20 years.”
School threats can be reported anonymously using University of Utah Health’s SafeUT App. You can download it for free at https://healthcare.utah.edu/uni/programs/safe-ut-smartphone-app/
The SafeUT Crisis Text and Tip Line is a statewide service that provides real-time crisis intervention to youth through texting and a confidential tip program – right from your smartphone. Licensed clinicians in our 24/7 CrisisLine call center respond to all incoming chats, texts, and calls by …