The FBI and Arizona police and prosecutors have launched a program aimed at reminding the public that posting online hoax threats that lead to school shutdowns can result in dire consequences.
The “Think Before You Post” program spreads the message that threats made through social media or via text message are no joking matter, KTAR reports.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said anybody caught posting threatening hoaxes will be prosecuted and liable for costs.
Michael DeLeon of the FBI in Phoenix said online hoaxes are both wasteful and draining on law enforcement.
Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams said one recent hoax threat resulted in 1,300 of 1,500 students not showing up for class at one school.
“A hoax that prompted this came from a student who simply didn’t want to go to school,” she said.