Teenage pranks have probably been around as long as there have been teenagers. Some are just silly and some are genuinely funny. They are typically pretty juvenile. Some are juvenile and some are definitely not funny at all.
The prank that a couple of teenage boys allegedly pulled at Liberty High School, last week, fell in the category of pranks that are most definitely not funny. One of the boys just turned 18 last month and we are sure he was not laughing when he woke up in the big boys’ jail, the next day, instead of his bed at home. He has also been charged, as an adult, with a Class 5 felony. We are sure he does not see any humor in that.
Neither school officials nor the sheriff have given much in the way of details about what happened. The short description of the charge on the older teen’s arrest warrant is “bomb/burn threat.”
It appears that the dynamic duo got hold of one of the radios that staff use for communication on school property. It looks like they thought it would be great fun to use it to alert school staff that something terrible was about to happen. Some comments that have been made give the impression that they may have alerted school officials that there was an armed intruder in the school.
They surely know what the result of this fake information would be, in light of the spate of school shootings that have taken place. School officials immediately put the high school on lockdown. Teachers kept the students in their classrooms and away from doors and windows. Just about every law enforcement officer in the area converged on the school. There were 30 of them from the Sheriff’s Office, Bedford Town Police and State Police. They went through the school and, after a search, were able to say that there was no armed intruder and the school was safe.
Then something happened that the probably never thought of. Law enforcement nabbed them within two hours. We are sure the older boy never thought that his day would end with being finger printed and thrown in the slammer.
If they are convicted, we hope the judge throws the book at them. This prank had a lot of results there were not in the least bit funny.
First, there are the law enforcement resources wasted. Think of those officers who were suddenly yanked from other duties to stop what could have been a tragedy in progress, if the report had been real. We bet they went flying down roads, with sirens wailing and lights flashing. Students’ lives could be in danger and there was no time to waste. They didn’t waste time. The school campus was swarming with law enforcement officers within two minutes. Thankfully nobody was injured.
Then there is the emotional cost. Their classmates were frightened, especially after what they have seen on TV in recent months. Many were still pretty rattled the next day.
The students’ parents were terrified. They’ve seen the news stories, too , and they converged on the school in force desperately trying to find out if their sons and daughters were OK. They waited at a church right next to the school’s campus and quickly got news that it was not real. By the time some of them got there, it was probably all over. Imagine how relieved they were.
So, hats off to school officials and staff. who acted promptly and appropriately. And our applause goes to our brave law enforcement officers who rushed to the scene, not yet knowing what they were rushing into, but determined to save the lives of the students.