Today, Juvenile Court Petitions were filed against three Oak Ridge juveniles accused of making social media threats of school shootings at the Oak Ridge Schools in two separate incidents this week. The three juveniles have been charged with Terrorism, Threat of Mass Violence on School Property and False Report. Two of the juveniles have also been charged with Conspiracy. All three juveniles have been taken into custody this afternoon.
The charges were presented to the Anderson County .Juvenile Court earlier this afternoon and the Court has authorized the detention of the juveniles in the Richard L. Bean Detention Facility in Knox County. An opportunity for a detention hearing is quickly required by Tennessee law. lt is anticipated that such a hearing may occur as soon as tomorrow afternoon in the Anderson County Juvenile Court.
District Attorney General Dave Clark remarked, ”the message should be loud and clear to adults and juveniles alike that making threats over social media or in any way that are directed at our schools, children or staff will not be tolerated. This is a very serious matter and the law enforcement community and the judicial system in Anderson County will respond accordingly. We are concerned to see that two such incidents have occurred within the same week.”
As a result of the events of this week, students, parents, teachers and staff lost educational time and were understandably upset about the threats. The Oak Ridge Police Department directed staff to immediately provide security at multiple schools and for the Criminal Investigation Division to find those responsible. Understandably, many parents responded quickly to remove their students from school. The inconvenience, cost and mental anguish caused by these incidents is of great concern. This has touched the lives of many people. Other crime victims in unrelated cases may have had justice delayed due to the re-direction of police resources.
“I am grateful and very pleased with the fast, professional and coordinated work of the Oak Ridge Police Department and the Oak Ridge Schools to protect our schools and find those responsible. The investigative work done in this case is very impressive” said District Attorney General Clark.