Parents, please take a moment to read a letter from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney in regards to threats made to school communities.  I ask that you take the time and discuss the serious nature of this topic with your child.
From the office of Jerard M. Jarzynka, Prosecuting Attorney
Few events hit home for students and families like a school shooting.  They are terrifying and tragic.  When students learn of these events on television or on social media, it is natural for them to worry about their own school and their own safety.  Unfortunately, some students see these tragedies as an opportunity to gain notoriety and make threats against their schools, teachers, and classmates.
Since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, my office has received reports from law enforcement agencies of students using social media or by other means to make threats against schools.  Many of these threats turned out to be made by students who claim they were just joking or playing a prank.  I want to be very clear: these threats are no joke, and this behavior will not be tolerated.
Over the past few months in Jackson County:
4 students were recently charged.
Each defendant has been charged with false report to threat of terrorism.
This felony charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison..
While the punishments dictated by the criminal justice system are stern, students may face additional consequences, including:
Loss of scholarship and federal aid;
Denied college admission;
Being required to disclose pending cases or criminal convictions on job applications
I urge you to talk to your children about the appropriate use of social media, and the lasting consequences of making threats against our school.  Please stress that there is nothing humorous about threatening to shoot up a school, and there is no such thing as a joke involving the threat of mass murder.
All threats will continue to be taken seriously and prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law.  By working together, we can provide our children the safe schools they deserve.
Jerry Jarzynka
Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney
312 Jackson Street Jackson, MI 49201