What happens when middle school students log onto Facebook and make death threats against their enemies? They get arrested and charged with aggravated stalking.
This Facebook death threat happened after one Fort Meyers, Florida teen told on another who had brought a gun to their middle school. The 14-year-old was charged with possession of a firearm, and the girl that told on her was branded a "snitch."
The friends of the student who brought the gun to school then sought retribution through social networking. The conversations occurred between a 13-year-old girl, two 14-year-old girls and a 14-year-old boy. Police are not releasing the names because all of the parties are minors.
Interestingly, according to Lee County Sheriff's Office the student who was targeted with the Facebook death threat had nothing to do with the arrest of the teen on the gun charges, the Associated Press reports.
The teen took the Facebook death threat very seriously, telling deputies that he was "very afraid to return to school for fear someone would kill him...He stated if one student had already brought a gun to school, what would keep another from bringing a gun to school to kill him," The Smoking Gun reports.
Under Florida's stalking law, stalking is defined as the willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing. Aggravated stalking is the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing another with credible threats with the intent to place person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or willfully, maliciously, repeatedly follows or harasses minor under 16; or after injunction for protection or any court-imposed prohibition of conduct, knowingly, willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person.
Four eighth grade students were booked and are being held at Lee County's Juvenile Detention Facility.
- Teens arrested after Facebook threats revealed (AP)
- 'Kick a Ginger Day'? Cyberbullying and Ginger Bashing (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Cyberbullying Law Coming Soon? MySpace Suicide Case Leads to Legislation (FindLaw's Blotter)