Judges want to keep kids making baseless school threats out of detention

As police are charging more students in a series of school threats throughout central Ohio, judges in the juvenile court system say they will try to keep the young offenders out of detention. (WSYX/WTTE)

As police are charging more students in a series of school threats throughout central Ohio, judges in the juvenile court system say they will try to keep the young offenders out of detention.

"They may just think I'm making a phone call," said Franklin County Juvenile Court Judge Terri Jamison to ABC 6/FOX 28. "We'll get out of school for the day."

Already this week, police in Groveport arrested a 14-year-old student after they say he posted images of guns on Instagram and threatened other students not to go to class on Tuesday. On Monday, Beechcroft High School senior Deandre Fleming faced a judge. He's accused of posting more threats on Instagram which included the killings of two teachers.

"There seems to be a lot of fantasy around having weapons," said Judge Jamison. That's also the reason why she said these young offenders don't belong behind bars as statistics show they'll continue on with their bad behavior if incarcerated.

Instead, the juvenile courts look into why a child is acting up as their minds are still maturing. Court staff will dissect a child's school record and life at home. A judge is then more inclined to order counseling, involvement in a mentoring program or community service. Judge Jamison knows some parents are calling for stiffer punishments on the "baseless" school threat crimes. However, she said 85% of kids in juvenile detention will never get their diploma or a G.E.D.

"They need their education," Judge Jamison said. "I don't think making examples of kids and putting them into incarceration will be getting the type of results that you want."


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