Two Edmonds-Woodway High School students, expelled earlier this week, appeared Wednesday morning before Snohomish County Judge David Kurtz, who found probable cause for charges of felony malicious harassment and set bail at $10,000 each.
The two teen boys, 15 and 16 years old, are accused of maintaining a private Facebook page on which they posted racially-charged threats of death and violence against specific fellow students, and went on to make threats of mass violence against the entire student body and staff at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
According to the police report, the two threatened to “lynch” one African-American student and discussed specific plans on the Facebook page to carry out this threat. Other more general threats included discussion of obtaining firearms and leaving “dead bodies” all over the school.
While the two admitted posting statements about killing African Americans to police detectives, according to the police report they maintained that they “made the statements to be funny.”
Judge Kurtz made clear the profound gravity of the charges, stating: “These are extremely serious allegations which raise profound public safety concerns,” he said. He then set bail at $10,000 for each defendant, further stipulating that it must be posted in cash by a parent or guardian, no bond accepted.
According to court documents, the victims were not aware of these threats until informed by school officials earlier this week. Upon reading transcripts from the chat room, one victim told detectives he felt “fear” and was “shocked, appalled and disturbed.”
His parents, who have two other children in the Edmonds Public Schools, expressed fear for the family’s safety and are considering pulling their children out of school and “purchasing a gun” for protection.
Prosecutors are reviewing the evidence in preparation for filing formal charges.