Six girls arrested in online threats
January 6, 2011
Six middle school girls were arrested Wednesday afternoon after the group allegedly participated in a Facebook event called “Attack a Teacher Day.”
Carson City Sheriff’s Deputy Jessica Rivera, the district’s school resource officer, said five of the girls are students at Carson Middle School and one at Eagle Valley.
The page came to light Wednesday morning after the invitation went out to 79 students. A parent saw the content, said Rivera.
The six girls arrested allegedly posted threats on the page aimed at specific teachers using wording like, “I’m attacking (teacher’s name),” and “Down with (teacher’s name).”
According to the Facebook posting, the “attack,” which was never defined, was to take place Friday between the hours of 7-9 a.m. at Carson Middle School and Eagle Valley Middle School.
“Facebook has become quite the trend and quite the place to harass people and to threaten people and it needs to be understood by the public and students that this is a serious matter and we’re not taking it lightly,” said Rivera.
The students were confronted by school deans and ultimately arrested and taken to juvenile detention on suspicion of threats. They were released to their parents Wednesday afternoon.
Rivera said they will receive a date to appear before the juvenile magistrate.
“All of the girls said it was just a joke, ‘We didn’t mean anything by it,’ and in one aspect you can think these are just kids making a joke. But on the other side, why would you take the time to accept the invitation, and then comment on the wall? Why would you take that much time to create the invitation and send it out to all of your friends?” said Rivera. “It’s not appropriate for kids to be doing this.”
Carson City School Superintendent Richard Stokes said five of the students each received a three-day suspension, and one student received a five-day suspension.
“The schools have also contacted other students who were invited and the parents and let them know the gravity of the situation,” said Stokes. “We’d like all our parents to be aware of what their students are doing online. Just be aware and pay attention to what’s going on in your student’s life with these electronic opportunities.”