GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — School districts across the state have been dealing with a rash of apparent copycat threats in the wake of Tuesday's deadly shooting at Oxford High School.
A 17-year-old girl is now facing two felony charges after being arrested Thursday in Genesee County for posting a "rap song" to social media that included threats against her school.
A 15-year-old boy was also arrested Thursday up in Cheboygan County under similar circumstances. The Cheboygan County Sheriff's Department says he posted two threatening messages on Snapchat.
Prosecutors across Michigan are now speaking out to hammer home to families the fact that these actions are crimes, and can have serious legal repercussions.
“My office, as well as my colleagues across the state, are going to take these situations very, very serious,” said Muskegon County Prosecutor DJ Hilson.
“We're talking about activity or consequences that can range from one-year misdemeanors all the way to 20-year felonies.”
In fact, the young woman in Genesee County is facing multiple 20-year felonies. She was charged with making a false threat of terrorism, and using a computer to commit a crime.
“She essentially made a rap video, if you will, while on the school bus going to Flint Southwestern Academy, and she threatened to shoot up the school, and she referenced the Oxford High School shooting that had occurred just the day before,” explained Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
“If you put something on social media in which you threaten to blow up or shoot up a school, that's domestic terrorism, or at least false report of domestic terrorism.”
The 15-year-old in Cheboygan County allegedly posted two threatening messages to Snapchat, which were then seen by a young woman who contacted authorities.
One of the messages allegedly read, “Don’t go to school tmr ima shoot it up,” while another said, "Y’all if you are from Cheboygan don’t go to school tomorrow ig there is someone coming with a gun so be careful y’all.”
Hilson says that law enforcement and prosecutors throughout Michigan are dedicated, particularly in the wake of a mass school shooting, to investigating and prosecuting all such threats.
“The fact that it's a prank or a joke will never be a defense to a verbal threat that threatens the safety and security of a school, a teacher, another student,” he explained to FOX 17.