FBI New Orleans
Craig C. Betbeze
March 12, 2018
Status Update on Louisiana School Threats and Warning from Law Enforcement Officials
NEW ORLEANS—In the wake of the February 14, 2017, tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there has been an overwhelming increase in threats to schools across the United States. Since February 14th, these threats have impacted a significant number of schools in Louisiana, requiring law enforcement agencies to respond and investigate these potential threats.
Over the last four weeks, Louisiana law enforcement officers have responded to over 106 school threats. In every case, first-responders addressed all reports with the utmost sense of urgency. Of the 106 calls threatening violence in or near schools, law enforcement officers were able to identify the perpetrator and effect the arrest of 62 individuals. Those arrested ranged in age from 11 to 28 years old, most of which were juveniles. Most of the arrestees were charged with violations of Louisiana Revised Statute 14:40.1, Terrorizing, and face maximum penalties of 15 years’ imprisonment, a $15,000 fine, or both. In cases where social media was utilized, arrestees could also face federal charges, including Title 18, United States Code 875(c), Threatening Interstate Communications, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
As shown by the number of arrests already effected by Louisiana law enforcement agencies, school threats are being taken seriously, and a zero tolerance policy is in place. All threats will generate law enforcement response, leading to an immediate investigation, to include swift and severe criminal charges.
If it is discovered during the course of an investigation a false school threat was intentionally reported, prosecution will be considered.
The FBI New Orleans Field Office and the Louisiana State Police urge the public that if you See Something Say Something, and to report all suspected school or similar threats to law enforcement immediately.