A Robertsville Middle School student was charged Thursday for allegedly making a threat to “shoot up the school” during a moment of silence for the victims of the school shooting in Florida.
A city of Oak Ridge spokesperson says the 13-year-old boy was immediately removed from class and taken to the principal’s office where he was interviewed by Oak Ridge Police Department officers.
Police say the boy admitted to making the statement, but said it was a joke and didn’t mean it. Officers also interviewed a parent of the boy who said he did not have access to any firearms at home.
School officials and police sent a notification to parents about the investigation. The student was expelled and released to a parent.
After discussing the situation with a juvenile prosecutor, police obtained a summons and charged the teen with harassment and disruption of a gathering.
He was placed under arrest at his home and taken to appear before a juvenile court judge.
The teen was later charged with an additional count of false reporting, which is a felony, and transferred to the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Center in Knoxville.
“Especially in today’s environment, school safety and security are paramount,” ORPD Chief James Akagi said. “We take any threat or potential threat to students and school staff seriously. We will always respond aggressively the these threats and take proactive measures to ensure the safety of our students, our teachers and our community.”