Security stepped up at Howell High School following alleged threat posted on Snapchat
Howell Township police were not taking any chances when a photo posted on Snapchat appeared to allude to a threat at the high school.
Police quickly arrested the teenager who allegedly posted the photo and message. There was also increased security at Howell Township High School.
“We received a call at 9 p.m. last night from concerned citizens due to a Snapchat photo depicting a person with an assault rifle between his legs,” says Capt. Mark Pilecki.
The photo included a caption that read “Don’t [pull up] tomorrow,” and led to an immediate response by police. Authorities say they quickly realized that the post came from a Howell student and that the gun was an Airsoft rifle.
“Regardless of what it is, it needs to be investigated thoroughly and addressed,” says. Dr. Steven Tobias. “Even if it is a joke, people have to learn this is not funny. This is not what you do.”
Tobias is a psychologist and the director of the Center for Child Development in Morristown. He studies the effects of social media on teenagers. He says that while most other kids may brush this off as something they are accustomed to, it is not so for others.
“They don’t need more stress, they don’t need more additional things to worry about,” Tobias says. “They need to be able to go to school and feel schools are safe, which by and large they are.”
The incident came hours after a school shooting in Michigan left four people dead and several others injured. Officials say that it needs to be taken seriously.
“It’s almost like we have to go back to teaching kids core values – respect and consideration. Really caring about their community, their school and environment,” Tobias says.
Charges against the student are pending. The student’s name was not released.