In the aftermath of last week’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a number of threats against schools have surfaced, including in Alabama where an 18-year-old girl is facing charges.
Emily Nicole Wilson, 18, allegedly threatened her high school by sending on the Text Now app an emoji of a toy gun and the date and a time the attack was supposed to be carried out, WBRC reported.
She sent the threat, apparently, to get extra time to study for a test, authorities said.
She was arrested on Thursday and has been charged with “making a terroristic threat.” The charge is a Class C Felony in the state of Alabama, which carries with it a minimum sentence of one year and one day, but not more than two years, in prison.
If convicted, Wilson may also be charged up to $15,000 in fines. “This is a very serious situation,” Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said on Friday.
Teachers and friends were surprised to learn Wilson was charged, according to investigators, WBRC-TV reported. But, after 17 students were killed in the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, officials are taking all threats seriously.
“It comes down to a poor decision made by a teenager that it was going to be a short-term, get out of class thing,” school district superintendent Shane Barnette said Friday during a press conference.
Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry said students who make such threats can expect to be arrested.
‘This is a very serious situation,” Gentry said. “When we make the decision to do something to give us time to take a test, well guess what, the end result is you get arrested and you go to jail for making a terroristic threat.”
A senior at Vinemont High School, Wilson allegedly sent the message to her school on Wednesday.
A second student was also arrested on Thursday for publishing a threatening post on Facebook. The minor, who was not named, attends Good Hope Middle School in Cullman County.
Gentry said the youth could be charged with a crime.
Following these incidents, Barnette has asked parents in the community to have discussions with their children about the serious nature of this kind of behavior and to also closely monitor their children’s activity on social media.