Student charged in threat on MySpace

Catherine Kurtelawicz

A 17-year-old West Canada Valley student was charged with false reporting and suspended from school Tuesday after the high school principal learned of threatening statements made on MySpace, district Superintendent Kenneth Slentz said. 

At some point Monday night, Slentz said the student was communicating with other students on MySpace about a friend that had been teased, telling them the teasing needed to be stopped. 

“He made the statement in there that, 'if you don't, I will bring a gun to school and threaten you all,'” Slentz said. 

Another student printed out the communication before the first student deleted it. The next day, that student informed the principal of the incident. 

Lockers were searched, and everyone involved was interviewed by the school's resource officer and on-duty state Trooper Ralph Potasiewicz and Principal Frank Sutliff. 

The student in question then admitted to making the statements, Slentz said, and was taken into custody. 

The student is scheduled to appear in the Town of Newport Court on Tuesday. 

He also has been suspended for five days and will have a Superintendent's Hearing at a date yet to be determined to decide further action. 

Slentz said the student had no record of problems in school. The student is involved in multiple extracurricular activities and does well academically, he said. 

Slentz also said electronic communication has created many problems in school. 

“Without exaggeration, on a daily basis the high school principal is dealing with a text incident, a MySpace incident. It takes a tremendous amount of time to investigate these things,” he said.