BUDA, Texas - A 16-year-old Hays High School student has been arrested after they allegedly posted a threat against their school as a "joke".
The student has been charged with false alarm, a state jail felony, according to the Hays County Sheriff's Office. Authorities say they are not identifying the student as he is a juvenile.
On Monday, Oct. 16, a generic threat of school violence was sent out via social media, affecting several school districts in the area and across the state. Law enforcement was notified and HCSO and school resource officers began investigating the source.
Later the same day, a second screenshot was posted on social media specifying a threat against a school in Hays CISD that would happen around 1:30 p.m., according to HCSO. District officials and school resource officers began a separate investigation into this threat.
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Around 1:30 p.m., a separate unrelated incident at Hays High School in Buda led to fire alarms going off and caused further confusion. Several students left campus and parents rushed to the school to find their kids, says HCSO.
A school resource officer learned a 16-year-old student was possibly responsible for sending the second threat out. That student was found at Hays High School and interviewed, says HCSO.
During the interview, HCSO says deputies learned the screenshot had been grabbed from social media and personalized to Hays High School as a "joke," then sent to several students. This caused some alarm and then the threat was posted on social media.
Sheriff Gary Cutler is reminding residents that threats of school violence are taken very seriously and should never be joked about, and HCSO is "committed to keeping our schools as safe as possible."