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High school students use social media for intimidation


In an apparent lapse of judgment, two teens are experiencing legal trouble after being accused of posting threatening messages via social media. The teens are charged with inducing panic, and in addition are facing a school suspension.

Although school administrators assert there was never a moment when the well-being of a student was in jeopardy, the threat had to be taken seriously. These threats were made on the popular social media site Instagram. While the threats did not mention a time or a place, it was considered serious enough for officials to take action.

With the assistance of both parents and students, the district experienced little trouble identifying which students posted the threats. When buses pulled up to the school on Tuesday morning, officers were there waiting for the teens. No weapons were found by the police and a potential crisis seems to have been averted.

Fortunately the threats were nothing more than poor decision making by a couple of misguided individuals. However, this may not always be the case. Social media plays a huge role in our society and it is important for both parents and students to report any suspicious or aggressive language that could be deemed threatening. While most threats or language published on social media sites is ultimately harmless, it is important to understand young people rely on social media much more than their adult counterparts.

Where one person may see online bullying as nothing more than someone sitting behind the computer screen sending hollow threats, others interpret it as a precursor to actions that may be more sinister. Without limiting constitutional rights to free speech, a line must be drawn and society must adapt to the ever changing landscape of the internet. With access to information a mouse click away, the proverbial ‘cyber-bully’ can become someone who has both the means and the knowledge to turn their desires into reality.

It is this reality that we live in and must understand. When a child leaves school and returns to the comfort of his or her home, social media is still waiting. The oppressor that could once only affect a young person at school is now present at home as well.

The attorneys at Bleile & Dawson are extremely knowledgeable in criminal law in both the State of Ohio and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. If you have been charged with a crime and feel that you have been wrongly accused, choose a law firm that has both the knowledge and experience to fight for you. Whether we are providing our clients with legal advice or defending them against wrongful accusations, we provide our clients with the representation that they are not only entitled to, but deserve. Contact us today for a completely confidential consultation at (513) 399-5945. We will be there every step of the way.

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