FBI Warns of Posting Hoax Threats to Schools

FBI Warns of Posting Hoax Threats to Schools
Posted on 10/16/2018
This is the image for the news article titled FBI Warns of Posting Hoax Threats to SchoolsLaunches Campaign to Educate the Public to #ThinkBeforeYouPost

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Houston Division has launched #ThinkBeforeYouPost, a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the consequences of making hoax threats of violence to schools and other public places, and reminds everyone that hoax threats are not a joke.

“With the school year underway, we need students and the public to understand that making threats against a school is not a joke. There are serious legal consequences for those who do, even if there was never an intent to carry out the threat,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Perrye K Turner during a recent news conference with area school districts.

In the aftermath of tragic shootings such as the ones at Santa Fe High School in Texas and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, the FBI and law enforcement agencies around the country often see an increase in threats made to schools.

“The FBI and our local law enforcement partners spend countless hours following up on every tip we receive from the public. We analyze and investigate all threats to determine their credibility,” said SAC Turner. “Schools shut down and teachers and students lose precious learning time as a result of these threats. Making false threats drains school and law enforcement resources unnecessarily and cost taxpayers a lot of money,” he added.

When an investigation concludes there was a false or hoax threat made to a school, or another public place, a federal charge could be considered, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. If a federal charge is not warranted, state charges can be considered.

The Houston region #ThinkBeforeYouPost campaign includes digital billboard space generously donated by Clear Channel Outdoor to promote the message.

Public assistance is crucial to efforts to curb these hoax threats. If there is any reason to believe the safety of others is at risk, we ask that the public immediately contact their local police department by calling 9-1-1, or contact the FBI Houston Field Office at 713-693-5000. Hoax threats are not a joke, so think before you post!


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