2018-04-15 / News

Social media re-post lands student in court to face consequences

CHESANING – On Wednesday, April 11, Chesaning High School student Jacob Hugh Sowers was arraigned on charges relating to the re-posting of a school threat on Instagram. Judge Terry Clark issued a $35,000 bond on Sowers, barred him from school property and placed him on a GPS tether.

Chesaning Union Schools Superintendent Mike McGough sent a letter home with students on Monday, April 9, explaining the situation.

The letter states, “On Sunday evening, April 8, Chesaning Union Schools administration received information that a student had posted an Instagram message that contained a potential threat after which district officials immediately contacted the police. Based on information received from various sources through the investigation, it was determined that the message was a re-post of a threat that had occurred in a different state and that had been circulating on social media. The police identified the student who had re-posted the threat and that student was taken into police custody.”

McGough also stated in the letter, “Though these types of incidents are always taken seriously, based on the information we had received we were confident that there was not a viable threat associated with this re-post.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the students, staff and parents who alerted us to the potential threat. That information allowed us to immediately report the incident to law enforcement officials, who were then able to quickly resolve the issue. Chesaning Schools promotes the use of OK2SAY, a confidential tip line, where students and adults can report potential threats through email, text, mobile app, or the OK2SAY website.” McGough told the Citizen, “Due to (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) laws, I can’t disclose any information regarding a student’s discipline. We have requested an incident report from the state police and are awaiting its receipt. I can say that the administration and (school) board will not tolerate any threats against students or staff and will react to any threat or perceived threat with full force and extent of our policies as permitted under Michigan Statute.”

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