AISD Police: Student who threatened Austin High thought it would be 'funny'

All is calm at Austin High School on Tuesday but the school is missing one student. That student is in juvenile custody for making a threat against his classmates on Snapchat Monday.

"Because it had an actual date, a day that they're referring to, making the threat about 'don't go to school on Tuesday because things will happen.'  Because of those posts and because of the date and it being so close: today...and we're learning of it yesterday, we work pretty quick," said Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez.

Mendez says it all started when students and parents saw the post Monday morning and quickly passed it along to the district who passed it along to police.

"They were able to screenshot the posts, they were able to share the post with us," Mendez said.

AISD Police quickly assigned officers, investigators and a supervisor to the case.

"We have individuals that are well-trained in looking at social media and finding information.  So they were able to find the post, find the information," Mendez said.

Mendez says they figured out who the student was, tracked them down at their residence and made the arrest.

In an automated phone call, Principal Amy Taylor told parents "Austin ISD Police Department investigated the threat and made an arrest.  AISD PD determined the threat is no longer viable, and that it is safe to operate school tomorrow as scheduled."

"What we're learning through the investigation, an attempt to I guess be kind of funny.  It wasn't taken that way obviously," Mendez said.

Since Chief Mendez says the student intended this post to be a joke, we asked him if there's any sort of social media post that seems too insignificant to report.  He says it's better safe than sorry.

"Let us know.  Let us look at it, let us investigate it...let us determine whether there is any validity behind it.  And let us take appropriate action," Mendez said.

Mendez says the charges would have been the same if the student had been serious about the threat.

"No I think the charges would have remained the same.  It's a terrorist threat.  They posted the threat out on social media.  There was not enough time for them to carry anything through had they meant to do so," Mendez said.

The Chief says the bottom line for students thinking of making a similar post online -- just don't do it.

"Your attempt at humor needs to be about something other than the safety of everyone at the campus you attend," he said.

Mendez says the student was taken to Gardner-Betts Juvenile Justice Center where there will be court proceedings.  He says it will be up to them to decide what punishment the student will face.
 

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