MTHS student emergency expelled after threatening social media post

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    File photo of MTHS seen from Hawk Way. (By Doug Petrowski)

    This story was updated at 4 p.m. with additional details.

    A student at Mountlake Terrace High School has been emergency expelled after posting a photo of bullets with the caption “Be prepared.”

    An email sent to families from Principal Greg Schwab said the post was perceived as a threat to the school, though there is no information pointing to the threat being credible or directed at the school.

    “There was no mention of MTHS in the post, but since this was made by one of our students, we are acting out of an abundance of caution,” Schwab said in an email. “As an additional precautionary measure, we have police on campus.”

    Mountlake Terrace administrators first heard about the post around 6 a.m. on Wednesday. Edmonds School District spokeswoman Debbie Jakala said this was a good thing, because they could notify police and families early.

    “A student made a very poor decision in making that post and not realizing how it would be interpreted,” Jakala said. “So, the emphasis is really using this as a learning experience, for not just students, but family members as well.”

    Mountlake Terrace police were contacted by the school. Brier police officers have met with the student and his family.

    “It was an irresponsible social media post. Due to the disruption this has caused, the student has been emergency expelled,” Schwab said.

    Schwab also encouraged students to attend school on Wednesday, for parents to discuss responsible social media use with their children and for students not to spread rumors about the situation.

    “Anytime people are talking about this kind of stuff, I think you have to take it seriously. We never want to assume that somebody is joking, we just can’t afford that in this day and age,” Schwab said.

    –With reporting by Stephi Smith, MLTnews intern

    3 COMMENTS

    1. I remember my twitter being violated by the School District when I was attending MTHS, (2012-2013) but for a much smaller reason ! I think it’s so weird (Like ‘1984’ weird) that our online posts hold so much weight that our words and pictures (*no matter what we post*) our right to freedom of speech and self expression is being disregarded.

      This instance, I understand the precautionary action. But at the end of the day words are just words. And a picture is worth 1000 words. If you want freedom of self expression through twitter don’t associate your name or life with your twitter ego.

      I was a dumb kid with a Twitter that didn’t understand the weight of my words, and how it affects the way the school looks at you. But what you post when you’re apart of the failing school system can have a serious affect on your schooling and more than just your ego, but your actual school life.

      • Freedom of speech is the right to express opinions without legal consequence, but not all consequences are legal in nature. There is no guarantee of freedom from consequence for exercising your right to free speech. Far too few people seem to understand the distinction.

    2. The district responded appropriately to this situation. It is sad that in today’s world we must be so diligent. I think we can all agree that issues of student/staff safety comes first. I was appalled when I moved to MLT 25 yrs. ago and saw the sign “NO GUNS ON CAMPUS” at the elementary school in our neighborhood. That made me real sad. Guess we’re not in Kansas anymore!

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