UPDATE: Jasper 8th grader charged with making terroristic threat - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Jasper 8th grader charged with making terroristic threats on Facebook

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UPDATE (9/18/13): A Jasper Middle School student has been transferred to another school after police charged him with making terroristic threats Monday.

The teenager was taken to juvenile court Monday and charged with making terroristic threats after police say he hinted at bringing a gun to school in a Facebook post.

Marion County Sheriff Bo Burnett said he didn't find a gun on the young man or at his grandmother's house where he lived. He said regardless of whether or not the teen intended to follow through with his threat, he's glad he took it seriously.

"With the Washington shootings this week, you never know nowadays. So yeah, we get something like this, we all get on board to prevent it or at least try and prevent it," Burnett said.

Burnett said he thinks the teen posted the threat after a confrontation with another student last week.

"If you have a heated situation at school, it now goes home with you because of social media," said Jasper Police Chief Tim Graham.

The juvenile court judge has issued a gag order on the case and wouldn't provide any more information to Channel-3.

Marion County Schools Superintendent Mark Griffith wouldn't confirm what school he's now attending.

 

ORIGINAL STORY: An eighth grader was in juvenile custody Monday morning after allegedly making violent threats on Facebook.

Marion County Schools Superintendent Mark Griffith told Channel 3 the 8th grade Jasper Middle School student threatened to bring a gun in a series of Facebook posts.

Griffith said he found the first threat Friday afternoon. Then a similar threat resurfaced online Monday morning, he said. Those alleged threats were enough for police to take the young man into custody as he arrived at school.

"This should ensure the parents that we try to be on top of our game at all times," Griffith said.

Griffith said there's no need to worry now. Today he's thanking folks for alerting him to a threatening Facebook post from that 8th grader.

"Anytime the general public can let us know what's out there and what's going on out there, we can put more safeguards in place than what's already going on to ensure the safety of our students," he said.

The post in question came from a juvenile:

"I be back in da school house morra! Not sure if I should kill a [expletive] or let'em live I don't like snitches! tough dessison but gotta get me [expletive] under control so~"

In a second post Monday morning, the young man claimed his innocence, writing:

"People need to shut the [expletive] up about me and this gun [expletive]! I havn't said Nothin about a gun and me takin it ta school. Im talkin ta miss. mac. today And who ever wats ta say somethin bout me SAY IT!"

Griffith didn't know for sure what prompted the post.

"There was an incident possibly Thursday or Friday at the middle school to where the young man had been in trouble and possibly someone had told something on him that was untrue," he said.

Griffith knows anyone with a Facebook account can make online threats but he said it's also a blessing because it makes it easy to pinpoint trouble before it's too late.

"Anything out there, socially media wise, is susceptible to all eyes and to be forwarded to the appropriate people to make sure nothing happens," he said.

Griffith said he's still deciding what type of discipline the young man may face at school.

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