FREEHOLD – An alert school security officer overheard a threat made by a student at a Keansburg school, which prompted an investigation last week. Fortunately, the investigation and law enforcement response determined that the student did not possess the ability to carry out the threat, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
“We take all such threats very seriously. It is imperative that parents have regular conversations with their children about the importance of the words that they use and actions that their children take which could be construed as a threat to the safety of students and others,” Gramiccioni said.
The child involved in this incident is not being identified because he is a juvenile.
A search of the student’s residence found no weapons present in the home, but a school yearbook was found with several classmates’ photographs blacked out. The juvenile told investigators those classmates were “mean” to him.
“Bullying is taken seriously by law enforcement, school officials, and parents. Should bullying acts rise to the level of a criminal offense, there could be criminal consequences for juveniles and adults. There must be a better way to treat fellow classmates and others without causing stress and anxiety. Bullying is wrong. We must find a way to better assist those who are bullied so that the bullying conduct ceases, and also for victims of bullying to learn how to seek help in a non-violent way,” Gramiccioni added.
The incident remains under investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and Keansburg and Middletown Police Departments.
The juvenile is charged with third degree Terroristic Threats.
The case will be handled in the juvenile system, but it is important to note that charges of third degree Terroristic Threats could result in a term of incarceration for the juvenile.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.