NORTH HUNTINGDON (KDKA) — A student is facing multiple charges after allegedly making multiple bomb threats at Norwin High School.
The 14-year-old student, who has not been identified, is allegedly responsible for three mass shooting or bomb threats. They happened on Feb. 23, Feb. 27 and March 8.
School administrators and North Huntingdon Police looked at school security footage that placed the suspect near where the written threats were found shortly before they were discovered.
When questioned, the suspect confessed to writing all three threats. Officials still don’t know the motive.
“Wish we could explain that. That would probably be the million dollar question,” Lt. Rod Mahinske, with the North Huntingdon Police, said. “Since the school shooting in Florida, there’s been 42 of these types of threats in western Pennsylvania.”
The student is facing multiple charges, including three counts of terroristic threats, three counts of reckless endangerment and three counts of disorderly conduct.
He is undergoing psychiatric evaluation before being sent to a juvenile detention facility in Westmoreland County.
While the suspect faces serious felonies, police and the school district want legislators to craft a new, more specific law when it comes to what have become disruptive and expensive offenses.
“It needs to deal with any type of threat, either verbal or in writing or on social media, in which they make a threat against an education facility or educator,” Mahinske said. “We would like to see it be a minimum of a felony of the third degree.”
KDKA spoke with some parents in other school districts. They agree with the suggestion that North Huntingdon Police are making.
“It’s not funny. It’s actually a terroristic act when you think about it, so I think they should do something more. I would be in favor of that,” said Beverly Furl, who has two children attending Mars High School.
Dominick Florentine, who is a bus driver in Hampton School District agrees that our laws need to be changed in order to deter people from making bogus threats that keep kids out of the classroom.
“Now you’re wasting the whole system’s money. Through the whole way out and it’s not right for the kids. That’s who you’re penalizing, the kids who are getting an education today,” said Florentine.
According to KDKA Legal Editor Julie Grant, even if the grading of an offense is a felony, sentencing guidelines are still a factor the court will consider in sentencing a defendant.
The guidelines take into account a person’s criminal history.
If a defendant has no prior record, their guidelines could call for probation even if the offense is a felony.