I'll blame this on a generation gap, but not just because "parents just don't understand."
Apparently, a 17-year-old Oronoco boy allegedly threatened to bring a gun to Pine Island High School and kill a classmate during a conversation on Facebook. (Here's the story from the PB's Laura Horihan) Fast forward to today, the boy isn't in school and deputies from the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office are investigating.
I don't think kids understand the power of the written word anymore. It's one thing to say, "I'm going to kill you." It's another thing to write a ransom note, that says "I'm going to bring a gun to school and kill you." Kids don't understand that comments over Facebook, e-mail, anything that can be tracked with a papertrail/cybertrail, will always carry more weight than the playground or lunchroom "he said, she said." Also, there's no "I'm just joking" font face.
School administration will obviously frown on both instances. But when there's tangible evidence (the letter) as well as a method for how you plan to inflict harm (the gun), people are going to be (rightly) concerned.
Now, the 17-year-old said he has been getting picked on, too. And that should be dealt with by school officials, assuming someone notifies them of the situation. I don't want to blame the victim, but there are other ways to report bullying than threatening to equip yourself like Ted Nugent on a hunting excursion.
At least two things need to happen here: the student needs to be informed that threats over Facebook are handled very seriously AND the bullying of said student needs to stop. The other suspects in this incident -- the ones picking on another student to the point where he feels the need to inflict violence -- need to receive their day in the principal's office, too.
Just my $.02.
LINK: Pine Island student removed after Facebook death threat (article)