Officials warn students to realize consequences of school threats

(Western Mass News photo)

Students and parents have been on edge following threats targeting several schools in the past few weeks in Hampden County.

Today, those who prosecute such cases are speaking out and want parents and students to realize the consequences for doing something like this.

The message from Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni is that if you make a threat towards a school, they will find you, bring legal action, and the consequences are severe.

Along with Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick, and police officers who work in the schools, Gulluni said that his has recently prosecuted 16 cases where threats have been made against schools.

Eight of those cases were in Springfield, while the remaining eight were in other Hampden County communities.

Gulluni noted that those being charged in the cases are split equally between boys and girls, and they range in ages from 12 to 17 years old.

Many of those threats were made on social media apps like Snapchat and Instagram.

Gulluni told Western Mass News that state and local police have been able to track those threats from a screenshot to a cell phone or computer to make an arrest.

"Regardless of how and why you're doing this, it's going to have penalties that will effect your life and can result in incarceration through prosecution," Gulluni explained.

Those who are found guilty of making a threat can spend time in a state prison for three to 20 years or time in a house of correction for six months to two-and-a-half years.

You may also have to pay a fine that can range from $1,000 to $50,000 or pay both the fine and spend time in jail or prison.

We were told today that students have been warned of these consequences in the wake of these threats through assemblies and other discussions.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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