Punish Threat Culprit Harshly
Educators had to lock down Ayers Elementary School in Martins Ferry for a time Monday. City police went there to ensure the safety of children.
Someone using social media had threatened specific children at the school, police Chief John McFarland explained. Later in the day, an arrest was made.
No doubt educators at Ayers Elementary did an excellent job of calming any fear children at the school experienced. Still, youngsters tend to understand when something is wrong.
Some of their parents certainly were fearful. “We had very upset parents coming through here (to pick up children), and I hate that we had to stop them while a lockdown was going on,” McFarland told our reporter.
It appears from the speed with which police made an arrest that they already had some knowledge of the situation. No doubt they will learn more about the culprit as the investigation proceeds.
Whatever prompted that person to make the threat, it was wrong both morally and according to the law — whether or not the perpetrator had any intention of following through and harming someone.
There is no excuse for threatening little children. None.
Assuming police have the right person in custody, they and prosecutors should pursue each and every charge available. Then, the culprit should be punished as severely as the law allows.