HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WTVD) --A Cumberland County father is upset that the two teens who jokingly threatened to shoot up a high school last week are now back in class.
"My fear is that they got it wrong; that maybe it wasn't a joke," said Jason Jacobs. "That's not anything to take lightly."
Jacobs' son attends Gray's Creek High School. Last week another parent found an Instagram video recorded by a 14-year-old student. Authorities said the video showed a 15-year-old student walking down the hallway threatening to shoot up the school. The boy also pointed out four students specifically, said authorities.
On Friday the boys were charged with "making a false report concerning a threat of mass violence on educational property." Authorities and school officials said an investigation determined the threats were a prank.
Parents lit up social media with deep concerns over such a prank, and Jacobs said he gave his son simple instructions after learning about it through an automated school system alert call.
"I said let me know if those gentlemen, those boys, are back in school,'" he said. "As soon as he got out the car [Monday], he said, 'Dad, they're back in school.'"
That's when Jacobs called the school's principal and Cumberland County's central office. He says an administrator in central office said the kids were allowed back in school based on the principal's narrative of the incident, but that person vowed to look into the matter again. The principal told him the boys had been punished in some way, but that couldn't be revealed considering Jacobs is not their guardian.
"I said, 'I don't want you to tell me what the discipline is. I want to know why two kids who make up a threat and are arrested and charged by Cumberland County Sheriff's Department are back in school.'"
Debbie Tanna, a sheriff's office spokeswoman, could not offer details on the punishment considering the boys' ages, but reiterated the investigation's findings did not reveal any tangible threat to school safety. Dr. Frank Till, Cumberland County Schools' Superintendent, echoed that saying the boy making the threats "just ran his mouth in the wrong way," something you can't do considering social media's powerful reach.
Jacobs said he believed the boys got a slap on the wrist because of one's family name. He also said he's not convinced this was just a joke.
"I don't want Diane Sawyer at the school when there's a shooting, you know what I mean?" asked Jacobs. "It's a big deal these days and for that to go unpunished is not teaching our children the right thing."
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