Editorials

Arlington lays down law on Twitter threats

THE EDITORIAL BOARD

Arlington police took to social media Wednesday with their own message.

At twitter.com/ArlingtonPD, officers warned: “People who post threats on social media that cause alarm & interrupt @ArlingtonISD schools will be prosecuted for felony Terroristic Threat.”

After a hectic day when teens feared anonymous threats saying schools in Arlington and Cedar Hill “got it coming” or would have a “shootin,” police clarified the punishment for interrupting school.

Under the Texas Penal Code, it is a felony to threaten “any offense involving violence … with intent to cause impairment or interruption” of school, or to cause “fear of serious bodily injury.”

Punishment is removal from school and two to 10 years in prison, plus a fine of up to $10,000.

Teenage threats not only cost school time, but also cost taxpayers double: once for money and time spent on emergency response, and again if missed attendance costs school revenue.

Arlington’s response is strong but understandable.

  Comments