Shelby High School
The Shelby High School student, in Shelby, Ohio, who was arrested last week, I know him personally. The problem with his situation is that he was only responding to threats and rumors circulating around the school he attends. There were rumors that a student was gong to come and shoot up the school. So the student who was arrested for making counter threats was only trying to scare off the person who had made the first threats. So the student took to social media to make counter threats and was arrested for it. But why didn't the student who made the first threats get prosecuted? Why didn't the students who were spreading the rumors get in trouble? This is still a form of “inducing panic” pursuant to ORC 2917.31, because the original threats and rumors took place in a public place – school, and caused panic and a reaction from the student who was arrested.
Now, I'm not going to completely excuse anyone's bad decisions, but I have to look at things from a logical and honest perspective. Here are some facts: The student who made the counter threats did not necessarily have access to guns. He was not in a public place when he made the counter threats, and no evacuations had to be performed as a result. People, especially teenagers, say dumb things on social media all the time. The student who made the counter threats didn't want to go to school the next day: he said that he feared for his life. He didn't know he was breaking the law by making counter threats. In fact, most teenagers do not know the law, and no one really educates them about the law. Even more troubling, many adults do know the law, and most of them break the law all the time without even knowing it, because there are way too many laws on the law book. Even a cop told me one time, “There are so many laws; we are unable to enforce them all.” So there has to be a level of sympathy and accountability for certain people and situations as they pertain to the law.
But this is just a lesson for that young man, but he does not need to be an example. There is way too much of that in America. No more, I say.