ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) — In Opelousas, Chad Pitre is prepared to give students serious jail time if school threats continue.
Pitre, the St. Landry Parish District Attorney, said he has zero tolerance for terrorizing after six St. Landry Parish schools have received threats in the last week, adding to the 16 threats throughout the school year.
“High school students have been using their cell phones calling in to make fake threats at their schools, now the penalty if convicted is 15 years in prison with hard labor,” Pitre said. “This is a serious crime with serious penalties.”
While students are facing jail time for the charges, St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz said the family of the suspect will be looking at financial charges as well.
“If it’s a juvenile that’s arrested parents can be forced by the court to pay all expenses of the first responders, police, firemen, rescue personnel,” Guidroz said. “I think these children need to understand they could be putting their parent or parents in a pretty rough predicament.”
Guidroz said making students aware of the consequences is also a priority for law enforcement across the state.
“People are not going to know what I just said unless they’re watching the news or they hear it from somebody else so it’s very important that we go out to the schools and tell the children, and I think state police are currently working on a program where they came and did a public service announcement with me. And I’ll be happy to go with them to the schools and talk to the kids,” Guidroz said.
According to Guidroz, the constant threats put a strain on law enforcement, but officials will make sure those who make the threat face the consequences.