Officials talk impact of social media threats after Northside student arrested

Officials talk impact of social media threats after Northside student arrested

Columbus, GA (WTVM) -  What started as a major concern for families at Northside High School turned into a sigh of relief.

Students and teachers found out the 17-year-old suspect, accused of making social media threats, was arrested.

School district officials said Alexander Barefield, a senior at Northside High School, has been charged as an adult with making a terroristic threat on social media.

A screenshot of Barefield's Snapchat post sent out last night reads in part, "I'm shooting the (blank) out of out of school tomorrow. Don't (blank) come to Northside."

We talked to parents at Northside, including Jerome Dingle, about the dangers of social media posts like this.

"Someone's going to see it, take a screenshot, or what have you," Dingle said. "And then it's going to get to where maybe you didn't want someone to see it."

His son, Jerome, a sophomore at Northside, said he's aware that even joking about this subject can land someone in trouble, or in jail.

"I mean, that's stupid to do, you don't do something like that," Jerome said.

In a written statement released by the Muscogee County School District, Columbus police arrested Barefield at around 1 a.m. Tuesday at his home.

We also spoke to Columbus Police Major J.D. Hawk. In another written statement.

"These kids have to realize posting on social media to injure or hurt people won't be tolerated," Maj. Hawk said.

Jerome Dingle said he agrees with Major Hawk's stance.

"When you write something, think about if you're saying it to someone's face," Dingle said.  "If you don't think you should say it to their face, you probably shouldn't write it down either."

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