Another online threat against a school in Ahwatukee – this time at Desert Vista High – has prompted city Councilman Sal DiCiccio to warn of the stark penalties that await individuals who make menacing posts.
The latest unspecified threat was made Monday, but police responded quickly after someone equally quickly notified them.
Last Thursday, someone taped an anonymous note on a classroom door at Mountain Pointe High School that warned of a bomb on campus. That threat comes about a month after someone posted a photo of a gun and a threat against mountain Pointe, prompting Tempe Union district officials to add extra security at the school and asking students not to bring backpacks for several days.
Both Tempe Union officials and DiCiccio condemned what appears to have been a hoax. DiCiccio said Monday that police determined the latest threat originated outside the country and that the weapon was downloaded from the internet.
Nonetheless, he said he wanted any local students to think twice about making threats even as a prank because they won’t just face expulsion when they’re caught.
“The Phoenix Police Department does not take any threat to a school lightly,” he said. “Making a threat against a school – whether you intend to follow through or not – is a crime and will result in your arrest. Students are facing serious felony charges for this crime. This is not a joke. Making a threat against a school will ruin your life.”
He also urged parents to “please talk to your children about the seriousness of making a threat against a school.”
Praising the individual who reported Monday’s threat, DiCiccio also encouraged students as well as adults to “report, not repost” any threats they come across on the internet.
“Sharing and reposting threatening images is counterintuitive to the investigation and may spread misinformation,” he said. “Instead, please simply contact the police if you see an online threat or other suspicious behavior.”
A student several weeks ago was apprehended for making a threat involving McClintock High.
No arrest has yet been made in the Mountain Pointe case, but district spokeswoman Jennifer Liewer said the post appears to have also been a prank.