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As Police See More Fake Threats, FBI Urges Students to #ThinkBeforeYouPost

Fake threats waste time and resources, police say, and lead to serious consequences

FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye Turner addresses reporters at a press conference for the #ThinkBeforeYouPost campaign on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

After two students in Galveston and Conroe have been found with guns on campus in recent days, local law enforcement agencies are urging students to report potential threats, but not to make fake ones.

As part of a new FBI campaign, Houston students are reminded not to make false threats on social media using the tag “#ThinkBeforeYouPost.”

“These hoax incidents are continuing to grow and we have to get our arms around it,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye Turner. “We need to educate the community and encourage people, the kids, to stop and also encourage parents to get engaged to encourage their kids to stop.”

Area law enforcement — including Harris County deputies and Houston school police — are also participating. Houston ISD police chief Paul Cordova said responding to false threats can cost departments up to tens of thousands of dollars. Following recent school shootings, Cordova said, more people have a heightened awareness of threats.

“It's really touching a soft nerve, if you will, to talk about bringing a gun to school, bomb, you're posting stuff on social media, everyone can look at it and see the gun and it's very fearful for people and it's causing a lot of anxiety and that's why it is a third-degree felony in the state of Texas,” Cordova said.

Officials say the consequences for students making false threats range from a stay in a juvenile center to jail time.

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