MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Nine students in Muskegon County are facing criminal charges in connection to threats made involving local schools.
According to the county prosecutor’s office, the nine students range in age from 12 to 14. They are from a handful of districts, including Mona Shores, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Reeths-Puffer, Oakridge and Whitehall.
“The charges against them include disturbing the peace, intentional threats against a school or student, attempted false report or threat of terrorism, and false report or threat of terrorism,” the prosecutor’s office stated in a release.
Juvenile attorney Margaret Allen said even the less-serious charges come with heavy consequences.
“If a child makes a threat against a school, say they do it as a joke, that’s still a one-year misdemeanor they’re going to be charged with,” she said. “They’re going to have to come here and hang out with us for a review hearing every three months. It’s going to be on their record. If the police have to show up, they may have to pay restitution to the police department that your parents have to pay.”
Five of the teens appeared in court Wednesday and were ordered to home confinement including strict conditions prohibiting the use of social media. The remaining four will appear in court in the coming days.
More details about the defendants are not being released for privacy reasons.
“I work with the prosecutors all the time and I’m well aware they’re going to make an example and charge it as high as they can and take it very seriously, because the time and the money and the emotional expense of even a threat is so huge that they’re not going to tolerate it,” Allen said.