Columbus police urge social media safety

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Threats made online are being taken more seriously now than ever.

Early Monday morning, Northside High School student Alexander Barefield was arrested for making terroristic threats on social media.

Barefield allegedly posted on Snapchat that he was going to "shoot the {expletive} out of school."

He told police that he did not mean anything by the post and admitted that he did post it. Barefield stated that he was not actually going to do anything. He does not have access to a firearm. 

After school shootings around the country, local law enforcement take threats like these very seriously.  

"When you put something out there on social media it's like bypassing the news and everyone else putting it out there and people become afraid," says Major Gil Slouchick with the Columbus Police Department, "I guarantee you if you make threats against people especially in this community on the internet… we are going to take it very seriously."

Maj. Slouchick also says that times like these, especially after the incident at Northside High, are perfect for talking to children about the dangers of social media.

"When things like what happened the other day come up, sit down with your kids and talk to them about it," Maj. Slouchik said. "When things come on the news about someone whose posted all kinds of lies about someone and that child went off and killed themselves talk to your children about it. Basically teach them right from wrong."

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.