UPDATED: Police charge and release teen suspect in Northwest HS social media threat Featured

Northwest High SchoolNorthwest High School. COURTESY PHOTO  

Montgomery County Police charged a 15-year-old male student with “offenses relating to disrupting school operations” Friday after they worked with the high school’s staff to identify the suspect.

“Montgomery County Police (MCP) investigators, in coordination with administrative staff from Northwest High School, identified the suspect responsible for this social media post as a 15-year-old male student who attends Northwest High School,” police said.

Police charged the boy as a juvenile, and then returned him to the custody of his parents. Police referred the case to the Department of Juvenile Services for adjudication.

Police also advised parents to tell their children to tell an adult about a suspicious social media post, rather than share it on social media.

“MCP encourages parents to have a conversation with their children about responsible social media posts,” police said. “Parents are reminded to monitor their child’s social media accounts and encourage them to not to re-post or share rumors or threats.”

A Friday morning social media posting that appeared to contain a threat directed at the Northwest High School community did not appear to be credible when examined by Montgomery County Police, the school’s principal said in a letter to parents.

“Early this morning a student called the police to report a posting on social media warning students not to come to Northwest High School today,” Northwest High School Principal Jimmy D’Andrea wrote. “At this time the police do not have any credible information to support the validity of this threat.”

MCPS spokesperson Derek Turner confirmed Friday morning that the person suspected of posting the threat was at the time in police custody, but reiterated that the threat was not credible.

Additional police would be present at the school the remainder of the school day, said D’Andrea, who added that he would speak to students about the post Friday. D’Andrea further emphasized in his letter that students should tell an adult if they see or hear anything “of concern.”

“Safety and security is our absolute top priority, and I am very proud of the student who made the call to the police this morning,” D’Andrea wrote.



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