Social media has become a significant part of our daily lives.
Everywhere you look someone is either on their phone, iPad or tablet and using social media platforms to express their views and connect with others.
Sadly, it has also become a platform for threats and other malicious activities, especially among students.
But what students don’t seem to realize is that posting such harmful content for “fun” has far-reaching consequences, and the costs can have irreversible effects.
What Are Some Consequences for Threats?
According to California law, any statement that threatens violence is a criminal offense, and anyone who violates this law could face serious charges.
Making threats or joking about threats, especially on social media, can lead to severe consequences, including arrest, expulsion, suspension, and even prosecution.
You see, when someone makes a threatening post, it needs to be taken seriously and perceived as a genuine threat-especially in light of all the school shootings that have been happening.
Law enforcement officials as well as emergency medical services are being put on high alert which creates substantial costs for schools, police departments, and other organizations.
And these ‘jokes’ about threats can have a long-term effect on the poster’s future.
Colleges and universities look for students who are mature and responsible.
Acts of making jokes about threats are not ideal qualities that these institutions look for.
For future employers, such behavior should matter even more, as they wouldn’t want to take risks in hiring an employee with such weak moral values.
Some Severity Of These Threats
What might seem like a joke to one person, could be a chilling threat to another.
With access to weapons and the potential to become unhinged, we can never be too cautious when it comes to threats.
Even if it’s meant as a joke, it’s entirely possible for someone to take it seriously.
There are some individuals, especially those with prior behaviors or psychological imbalances, that could be influenced to take such threats seriously and carry out harm on themselves or others.
How Can These Threats Affect Others?
It’s not just the individuals who make these threats who are at risk.
When a threat is made, it can cause alarm and anxiety for those who hear it.
Parents may become worried about sending their kids to school, leading to a decline in attendance and academic performance.
Teachers and school administrators may be forced to take extra security measures, resulting in increased costs and a distraction from the primary educational goal.
This level of concern is not only disruptive to someone’s day-to-day life, but it can also cause long-term physical and emotional harm.
Social media may seem like a playground where users can make light-hearted jokes or sarcastic comments, but when it comes to threats, it’s no laughing matter.
Remember that words have power, and they’re capable of harming and dividing our communities if used incorrectly.
The risk taken when cracking jokes online is simply too great for any possible reward anyone can get from it.
Teaching students to be vigilant in what they post online is a step in helping to keep our schools safe.