LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Two Lafayette High School students face terrorizing charges after death threats posted on social media led to two lockdowns of the school this week.
Lafayette Police spokesman Matthew Benoit confirmed that officers were on campus and that the school went into lockdown earlier this morning.
“Around 8:30 a.m., officers and staff at LHS were notified about the social media threats,” Benoit said. “LHS administration and school resource officers immediately placed the school into locked down. The school is secure, and locked down protocol is in place. The LPSS are in contact with parents, and sending updates.”
LPD said that the incidents began on Oct. 3, when school administrators and resource officers received information about two social media threats of violence towards specific students and staff. A third social media threat was made on the morning of Oct. 6, and lockdown protocols began.
Two LHS students were later arrested, Benoit said. One is charged with two counts of terrorizing and the other was charged with one count of terrorizing. Both juveniles were booked into the Lafayette Juvenile Detention Center.
The two students were arrested in connection to the threats made on Oct. 6 and on Oct. 3.
“Terrorizing school campuses is a serious offense and will not be tolerated at any level. Anyone found guilty of threatening our schools, students, or staff, or sharing threatening posts intending to cause disruption and fear will be charged with an act of violence or terrorism, will face expulsion from school, and will be held accountable to the maximum extent allowable by law,” LPSS said.
Under Louisiana state law, if the students are charged as adults they could face up to 15 years in prison for each count.
Jessica Citizen, a parent of an LHS student, called the situation “scary,” as the Instagram post named several students and the poster claimed to possess a gun.
“It makes you want to homeschool,” Citizen said. “It makes me want to pull them out because I do not feel safe. I can’t go about my daily routine knowing if my kids are safe and taken care of if this keeps happening over and over again.”
Benoit said the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafayette Parish School System and the Lafayette City Marshal’s Office assisted in the response to the threats.
“Situations like this cause panic and stress, and takes away valuable time from all students in this area,” he said.
Below is a screenshot of the threat made to Lafayette High School with names redacted.