A teenager has been arrested in connection with a threatening post on the social media site Instagram involving John Barrett Middle School in the San Juan Unified School District.
The 14-year-old Barrett student was arrested and booked into Sacramento County juvenile hall on suspicion of making criminal threats, a felony, and obliterating the bright colors on an airsoft gun, a misdemeanor.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said sheriff’s school officers, working with the district, received information on Wednesday of a social media threat against the Carmichael school. The Instagram post included a picture of a weapon and “language that raised concerns about a possible threat” to school safety.
At 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, deputies went to the home of the student suspected of making the threat. They recovered a weapon that matched the photograph in the Instagram post, a black airsoft gun.
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Orange markings on the gun had been removed.
Airsoft guns are powered by air, gas or springs and shoot BBs, plastic pellets or paintballs. They typically have a brightly colored exterior to differentiate them from lethal weapons.
The school district sent a notification to students and staff concerning the teen’s arrest. Deputies were to increase their presence on campus Thursday.
In a post on the Barrett school Facebook page, Principal Brent Givens asked parents to warn their children about the irresponsible or dangerous use of social media.
“Please take this opportunity to speak with your student about how to use social media safely and responsibly,” Givens wrote. “Anything perceived as a threat to the safety of our school community will be taken seriously and met with appropriate consequences.”
Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.