On the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 3 a Riverbank High School student received a threatening text during class. Having concerns about safety after receiving the menacing text, the student notified the proper authorities including parents, school administration and law enforcement. After the word got around school that this happened, another student came forth stating that they were getting threatening texts as well. It has not been determined whether the two incidents are related and authorities would not comment on that possibility.
“As with all harassment and threat situations, if the victim feels or a reasonable person would conclude that a threat has been made or that the victim has been harassed, then we operate under the initial assumption that the threat is credible and it is our responsibility to involve local law enforcement in order to keep all of our students safe,” stated RHS Principal Sean Richey.
An investigation was begun by the Riverbank Police Services and it was determined that the threatening texts were sent by a fellow student. The subject was then detained and interviewed regarding the incident. After the student was questioned, authorities booked the youth into the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall for making terrorist threats.
“There will be no tolerance for this type of behavior and these types of threatening text messages,” said Detective Jon Gingerich. “The minute you hit ‘send’ it is a permanent record and you can’t take it back.”
“Students are told from their first year in kindergarten that if they ever have a situation where they feel scared, uncomfortable, afraid, threatened, etc., then they are to report the situation to a staff member or trusted adult immediately,” added Richey. “It is important that students know that they are not expected to – nor should they – handle potentially dangerous situations themselves.
“The Riverbank Unified School District wants to and expects to help in these situations.”
Authorities said the initial reporting victim and her family are working through the incident but it has been somewhat of a struggle for them. According to a parent, these types of texts should be taken seriously and – as occurred in this case – there should be consequences for the people that send the threatening text messages.