An elementary school boy when caught confessed to police he sent middle-of-the-night emails to educators threatening a school shooting.
Three Gloucester County, New Jersey school districts were closed Thursday after a 10-year-old boy emailed educators claiming a school shooting would occur March 1. Franklin Township Police announced the boy would be charged with making terror threats. The boy will not be named because of his age.
There is a Franklin Township school district in Somerset, New Jersey and that community had to alert residents that it was open and not to be confused with the district of the same name located in Gloucester County.
What you need to know:
1.Police Charged a 10-Year-Old Boy With Making Terror Threats
A 10-year-old boy is being charged with making terror threats and causing false public alarm after police got a 1:30 a.m. call from a “Ritter Caroline L. Reutter School teacher about an email that threatened a shooting at the school Thursday. “ Police said the child was up and online making threats after midnight via email to several educators.
Police alerted Township of Franklin Township School and Delsea Regional School district administrators and advised schools be closed. Franklin Township Police Lt. Matt Decesari told local media, “We determined the best action to take would be to cancel school for the day until we determine who the threat was made by and the legitimacy of the threat.”
2. Boy Threatened A School Shooting In Email to Educators
As police were investigating the threatened shooting for March 1, the boy was still sending emails. A principal, teachers and Township of Franklin Schools superintendent Troy Walton, all received emails that threatened a shooting, police said.
Police subpoenaed internet and phone providers and tracked the student to a Franklinville address.
Police issued this statement:
“The police department immediately contacted school officials and conducted a conference call to determine that school would be closed until the legitimacy of the threat was determined. As the investigation unfolded, detectives sent emergent subpoenas to the email carrier and IP provider to determine the origin of the threat. The accused party continued to send emails to school administrators during this time frame and referenced another school shooting that would occur at Main Rd. School on March 2nd. Detectives were able to quickly gain information regarding a possible suspect and were able to arrest a 10-year old male who attends the Franklin Township School District for making these threats. He was charged with 3rd degree Terroristic Threats and 3rd degree Causing False Public Alarm. The juvenile will be released to his parents pending a psychological evaluation. At this time there is NO legitimate threat to the safety of our schools and students will be back to normal schedule tomorrow.
3. In All, Three School Districts Shut Down
In a notice on its Facebook and home page, the Township of Franklin Public School District said it was closed because of a “potentially threatening email that was received by a staff member. “
“The district is currently working with the Franklin Township Police Department to determine the origin and credibility of the email. Further information will be provided as it becomes available. All students and staff are safe. We are encouraging parents to speak with their children regarding this incident and provide the district or the Franklin Township Police Department with additional any information. “
Another nearby district also shuttered all schools Thursday.
Due to a threatening email directed at the Franklin Township School District which was received overnight, and because our proximity to those schools, in an abundance of caution, the Delsea Regional School District in Franklinville posted it too would be closed.
Elk Township schools was forced to close schools because its transporatuon is shared with the other districts. A total of 4,000 students were affected by the county-wide school shutdown.
There are three elementary schools in the district and it’s not clear which the boy attended but the threat was made to the Caroline Reutter School.
4. Active School Shooter Drills Have Become The Norm
On Feb. 23, Franklin Township Police said it’s “working diligently to maintain a safe environment for our students who attend schools within our district,” and as proof shared its officer had attended security drills at Delsea High School, Our Lady of Mercy Academy, Caroline L. Reutter School, Cleary Elementary, and Edgarton Christian Academy. “Officers have increased patrols in and around our schools and the relationship that we have with school administration has never been better. A full scale security drill is in the beginning stages of preparation and will take place sometime in the Spring. School security is a top priority of ours and we will continue to work together to make our schools the safest around!!!”
The post had hundreds of ‘likes.’
Raven Carter, a Delsea Regional High School student, told local media there was an assembly and drill held Wednesday to prepare students for a possible school shooting.
And police announced new hires including new school resource officer.
5.Reaction From Students, Parents, Alumni & Educators Was Swift
"My sister teaches at Delsea Middle School and previously at Delsea Regional H.S. Now, this is hitting way too close to home when a family member is at risk!!!!! What is wrong with these kids today, is it for shits and giggles??? Cause this is not funny!!!"
And posts all over social media from residents about the schools shutdown and threats made by a child.