HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A 16-year-old student at Hays High School is facing a criminal charge after deputies said a violent threat got shared on social media Monday as a “joke.”
The Hays County Sheriff’s Office confirmed deputies took the student in question into custody Tuesday morning and charged the teenager with false alarm, which is a state jail felony. This stemmed from investigations over a threat referring to school violence.
Deputies said they began looking into a “generic threat” Monday mentioning several school districts in their area and across Texas. A second screenshot later came to their attention, which they said “specified a threat to a school in Hays.” A school resource officer reportedly learned a 16-year-old student at Hays High School may have sent that second screenshot, deputies said Tuesday.
According to a statement released Tuesday afternoon, deputies said they interviewed this student and “learned the screenshot was grabbed from social media and personalized to Hays High School as a joke.” Several students received that photo, which got shared to social media and caused safety concerns.
“Sheriff Gary Cutler would like to remind everyone, threats of school violence are taken very seriously and should never be joked about,” a statement from the sheriff’s office read. “Hays County Sheriff’s Office is committed to keeping our schools as safe as possible.”
Deputies said they are not sharing the suspect’s name because of that person’s age.