Maple Shade, NJ, Police Bust 12-year-old for Online School Threats
MAPLE SHADE — A 12-year-old is in trouble for posting social media threats against Maple Shade High School last week, police announced on Monday.
The threats were first reported on Wednesday, as Maple Shade police and public school administrators each received complaints from students, parents, and staff.
After a few days of investigation, police said they tracked down a 12-year-old juvenile as being responsible for at least some of those online threats.
The minor, whose identity was not released due to their age, has been charged with third-degree terroristic threats, second-degree false public alarms, and fourth-degree cyber-harassment.
"It is apparent that this is not just a Maple Shade issue, but an issue that is affecting many towns in New Jersey and many states throughout our country," township police said in a written release, adding they had been in contact with law enforcement at the county and state levels.
The investigation continues to try and identify any additional individuals who may have been involved.
Police said it was a prime example of applying the “See something/Say something” advice on matters of public safety, which includes talking with students about showing concerning posts to adult guardians.
Statewide school threats
During the same week, a viral threat that appeared to have gained traction on TikTok warned of a school shooting day for Friday, which caught the attention of Gov. Phil Murphy and State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan.
Before that unfounded, widespread threat which was weighed by districts statewide, other Shore area schools in Lakewood, Brick, Howell and Manchester — as well as New Brunswick — saw recent incidents involving threats made either verbally or written.
Amid all the threats this month, there was a lockdown for good cause in Mercer County, where a student was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to Lawrence High School on Dec. 8.