5 teens arrested in connection to social media threats to Gwinnett schools

GWINNET COUNTY, Ga. — Gwinnett County School Police have arrested five teens in connection to threats made on social media.

Police said the teens, who are ages 13 - 15, will face felony charges.

Officials said the threats have been made over social media for the last two weeks. The posts have disrupted several Gwinnett County schools.

The threats have included harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against the schools.

Channel 2′s Christian Jennings was at Discovery High School, where she talked to Gwinnett County Schools Police Chief Tony Lockard.

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Lockard said the district has gotten 13 threats in total across multiple schools in the county. The threats were made on Snapchat and TikTok and most are threats to shoot up schools.

“The majority of the threats are talking about shooting up a school, explosive devices some have contained specific dates and times or techniques they may be using,” Lockard said.

Lockard said the threats were made mostly to high schools including Mill Creek, Mountain View, Dacula, Collins Hill, Central Gwinnett and Discovery as well as Dacula Middle School.

Discovery High School Principal Marci Sledge said students brought a threat made against the school to their attention on Tuesday morning. Students were getting ready to take their PSATs.

“Ours was a threat that the school was going to be blown up that day. Luckily, it was early in the morning,” Sledge said. “We were able to get on the announcement and let students know that we were aware and had law enforcement involved.”

The district partnered with the Gwinnett County Police Department, the Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to make quick arrests.

The names of the students involved have not been released since they are juveniles.

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Lockard had a warning for students.

“If a student is caught recirculating a specific threat for the intent of causing a threat and disruption, then yes, we will charge them,” Lockard said.

Lockard said police dismissed two of the threats as being from out of state. Lockard said that those schools had similar or identical names to schools in the district, which caused panic and confusion.

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Four students at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee are facing criminal and disciplinary charges after posting threats on social media earlier this month. Their identities have not been released.

Sledge said she hopes parents get involved and make sure their children know that these types of threats are serious and won’t be taken lightly.

“I think kids just do things thinking that they’re funny or they’re going to get some likes on social media or something,” Sledge said.