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Two teens charged after making false threats at Mesa high schools Friday

Mesa Public Schools
Posted at 4:01 PM, Sep 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-18 01:41:14-04

MESA, AZ — Two teens have been arrested after making false threats at two different Mesa Public Schools Friday.

The Mesa Police Department says they have responded to multiple threat calls at schools within Mesa this week.

The two students who attend different high schools were criminally charged for the false threats.

Police say a 14-year-old girl at Red Mountain High School was charged Friday after claiming she had an explosive device in her backpack Friday at around 9:30 a.m. She was then released to her parent and charges were filed through the Maricopa County Attorney, Juvenile Division.

In a separate incident Friday, a 15-year-old boy at Dobson High School was charged for threats and interference with or disruption of an educational facility after posting the threat on social media at around 7:30 a.m. The school was put on lockdown due to the threat. He was then released to his legal guardian and charges were filed through the Maricopa County Attorney, Juvenile Division.

"It just interferes with law enforcement and the smooth ability and interferes for both police and fire department to respond to legitimate crime," said Chuck Trapani with the Mesa Police Department. "Parents you have a huge responsibility when you have kids, you need to talk to your kids about responsible social media posting."

A spokesperson for Mesa Public Schools provided this statement to ABC15 about the students:

"The students involved will receive appropriate disciplinary consequences pending the outcome of the investigation. Consequences for threats range from suspension to expulsion."

After the incidents, the Mesa Police Department says they take all threats seriously and released the following statement.

"Over the past several days the Mesa Police Department has responded to multiple threat calls involving schools within our city. All of these threats are taken seriously and are thoroughly investigated.

These threats do not only have serious consequences, but can cause severe emotional distress to students, parents, school staff and the overall community.

Several of the threats we have experienced over the past week were from social media platforms. We want to share some tips about creating or even sharing false on-line threats:

  • Don’t ever post or send any false threats on-line
  • If you feel you are the target of an on-line threat, immediately report it to the police
  • If you see a threat of violence posted on social media immediately report it to the police
  • Please notify the police of any threat, but do not forward or share the posted threat before police can investigate it. This can spread misinformation and cause undo panic
  • If you are a parent please talk to your children and discuss with them the importance of responsible social media use and that there are consequences in posting false threats, to include possible felony and/or misdemeanor charges"

Those with any information surrounding the threat incidents in Mesa this week are urged to contact the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2211.