SHERWOOD, Ark. — Federal and local authorities are warning people about the consequences you face when posting threats against schools after a recent spike of them in central Arkansas.
Sylvan Hills High School was closed Wednesday and Thursday because of threats. Two more threats made against Central and E-Stem High Schools in Little Rock has the FBI saying enough is enough.
"We take every threat seriously I want to make that very clear," Connor Hagan, Little Rock FBI spokesperson, said.
Hagan said it is not unusual to see a spike in threats after instances like Sylvan Hills shutting down. They also usually happen after mass shootings, like Parkland and Newton.
"Spikes are indicative of people either not thinking, thinking it's funny or trying to get off school," he said.
That doesn't mean the people who make them are let off easy.
"We are going to come after you and we are going to arrest you," Hagan said.
He said the culprit could face up to five years in federal prison.
"We are not going to stop tracking you because we realize 'Oh, it's a hoax and they didn't really mean it. It's a joke.' We're going to track you down," Hagan said.
Eric Barnes with Little Rock Police said officers quickly found a person of interest in the threat against E-Stem.
"He was not charged with a crime yet, it is still under further investigation," Barnes said.
A person of interest was also taken in for questioning in the threat against Central. Threats like these prompted Arkansas lawmakers to pass a law last year, making any threat against schools a class C Felony. It's called "An Act Concerning A Threat To Commit An Act Of Mass Violence On School Property."
"Which is much higher than terroristic threatening," Barnes said. "We believe we can use that whenever we have instances like this."
Class C felonies in Arkansas are punishable by three to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Little Rock Police charged a juvenile as an adult two weeks ago for making a threat against JA Fair High School under this law.
"We're going to use this charge to maybe stop some of this and deter people from thinking maybe this may be a game," Barnes said.
The FBI is still searching for the person who posted the threats against Sylvan Hills. If you know who posted them, you are asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI.