Law enforcement's united message: 20 years of jail for school threats

- There have been almost 100 school threats in metro Detroit since the Parkland Florida shooting.

The US Attorney called law enforcement and prosecutors, the idea was to head into the schools and say why it won't be tolerated. A strong message was spread by the new US attorney for the eastern district of Michigan Tuesday.

"Who wants this person in the college, who wants to give this person a scholarship if you are making terrorist threats," said Matthew Schneider, US attorney. "It's going to screw your life up if you do this."

You've seen Students go from the classroom to the courtroom for making threats. Macomb County has been hit hard with 51 threats alone since Feb. 14th. 

"The last thing I want to do is prosecute a 16-year-old kid for doing something dumb," said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith. "But when we have to stop everything we are doing, who's to say this one is a false threat? I'm not going to say that and I know no one behind me is going to say 'oh that's just a false threat.'"
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"We take each and every single threat seriously so this is a strain on us," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig. "But we follow up on every threat."

Law enforcement and prosecutors from across southeast Michigan are standing together to make it clear.  You could face 20 years of jail time if you make a threat.  

"The reason they're doing it, is because they don't think they will get caught," said Schneider. "Snapchat, they think that picture, it disappears. They think we can't track them, well they are wrong."

Schneider is moving his message from the podium to the gymnasium - starting a campaign of going into schools to talk directly to students.  

Part of it is laced with humor and comics, trying to speak their language - a language one Novi assistant superintendent says works.  

"(Humor) doesn't hurt at all," said Dr. RJ Webber. "These are teenagers and finding a way and an inroad to help our kids connect with what's occurring in the presentation is critically important."

Then there's the program called "Ok 2 Say" a way for students to report threats pouring into schools.  

"Since Parkland they have seen a huge uptick in the amount of reports from texts and telephone," Webber said.

For more on the OK 2 Say program, michigan.gov/ok2say/
 

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