Teenager to face charges over Instagram picture with gun, threat to school
PLAQUEMINE -- A student threat against MSA West was investigated Wednesday night, and an eighth-grader's guns were seized, authorities said.
The Instagram post showed a student wearing a bandana over his face and holding what Sheriff Brett Stassi identified as a .308-caliber rifle.
Text beneath the image warned students to stay away from school Thursday.
Students inside the school recalled the chaos and confusion inside.
"People are real nervous," Sophomore Ty Robinson said. "One girl was having a panic attack and everyone else was calling their parents to come get them."
Parents were notified Thursday morning by an automated robo call. But many parents believe the call came too late, since the kids were already at school.
"Now I had to sign out of work, and take my lunch early," Parent Lisa Kendricks said. "Now I'm all worried."
Iberville Parish Superintendent Arthur Joffrion said the robo call system does not work late at night.
"The safety and security of their students is essential," Superintendent Arthur Joffrion said. "We don't take any of that for granted which is why when we received the information, we immediately contacted the sheriff and didn't wait until this morning."
Stassi said when the Sheriff's Office learned of the picture, they paid a visit to the student's house. Investigators took the guns and the student was not able to attend school Thursday. The guns belonged to the student's father. He did not identify the student. By the end of the day Thursday, authorities announced the teenager would face felony terrorizing charges and likely be expelled from school.
WBRZ has made an editorial decision to blur the image of the child's face.
The student told investigators he took the picture, along with several others with different weapons, but denied writing the text.
Parents took their students out of school but the sheriff said that was not necessary. School was safe Thursday, he added.