DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A teen faces being placed in juvenile prison for a minimum of one year up until he reaches the age of 21 after a social media post threatening to shoot up Kettering Fairmont High School caught the attention of police.
Thaddeus Hoffmeister, a professor of law at the University of Dayton, said there are many factors that will be weighed in as the legal process continues.
“Do they have an actual ability to make it happen, to see it through, and was it imminent?” Hoffmeister said. “Was that their intent to do, and were they serious about it? These are all the different factors that, if it gets this far into the process, that a judge would consider if this person is found delinquent or found guilty of this action.”
The threat was made on social media and can blur the lines of traditional threats.
“Many times, even with adults, we act differently behind a keyboard than we act face to face,” Hoffmeister said, adding that the incident can be a warning sign to do more for youth on the mental health side post COVID-19.
“We need to do more for young people,” Hoffmeister said. “I don’t necessarily know if the criminal justice system is the answer, or maybe it is more a mental health issue. We need to focus more on how to what how do we provide these people services.”
Before the next hearing, the teen will undergo judge ordered mental health and psychiatric assessments for his and the community’s safety.
The student’s next court date is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. at the Montgomery County Juvenile Court.