SPRINGFIELD — Authorities, touching on the recent rash of unfounded threats against area schools, warned those who make them face potentially serious consequences.
District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said Tuesday morning 16 threats have been made on social media against schools throughout Hampden County over the last two months.
All of the threats were unfounded and most, if not all, were made by students. Eight were made against Springfield schools and the remainder were elsewhere in the county.
Those who make threats, even juveniles who think it may be a fun thing to do, face the potential for arrest and incarceration, Gulluni said.
“We are putting people in handcuffs and we are taking them out of schools,” he said.
“Don’t do it, don’t do it,” said Mayor Domenic Sarno. “You will be found, you will be caught and you will be prosecuted.”
Of the 16 people who made the threats, eight were male and eight were female. They ranged in age from 12 to 17 and most, if not all, were arrested or will be summoned to court to face charges.
Gulluni, Sarno and School Superintendent Daniel Warrick addressed school safety and other issues during a press conference at the Springfield Public Schools Central Office at 1550 Main St.
“We really emphasize school safety in Springfield,” Warwick said. “Over the last several years we have spent millions hardening the target.”
Gulluni said penalties for making such threats increase in severity given the level of disruption. They range from six months to two and a half years in jail to three to 20 years in state prison.