‘There’s no such thing as a gun joke:’ District issues warning after Mason school shooting threat

The student allegedly made the threat while playing an online game on the school’s WiFi network.
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 8:41 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A Mason student on Friday threatened to “shoot up” his or her school building, according to Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathan Cooper.

The student was playing an online game while logged into the district’s network when he wrote “I going to shoot up the school,” a district spokesperson said in a letter to parents Friday night.

The district became aware of the threat due to a technology monitoring system that flags keywords indicating self-harm or harm to others, the spokesperson explained.

The student told staff members it was “just a joke shared between a few friends,” the spokesperson said.

Cooper couldn’t answer whether that particular student is facing discipline or criminal penalties but shared any student who makes that kind of threat could, in theory, face either form of punishment.

The district has seen an uptick in students “using poor judgement while playing online games at school,” the spokesperson explained. It’s asking parents to talk to their children this weekend about “the grave implications” of making threats.

Said the spokesperson, “[T]here is no such thing as a gun joke. In today’s world, students who say ‘dumb things’ like this face being held in juvenile detention centers and face felony charges. As school leaders, we can’t afford to take any chances. All threats are taken seriously.”

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