INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In each of the local school threat cases, the attackers are giving a warning through social media, written down or a phone call.
Experts say none of the actual attacks first came with a warning.
Homeland Security Director Gary Coons has worked with countless Indianapolis school districts after threats were made.
“No. We did not close the school down because we felt we had enough resources at the school to secure the school,” he said.
Coons said he doesn’t disagree with the districts’ decisions to close, but he added that no local threats have ever led to an attack.
“In the past, we have not seen a threat come out on social media and then an attack happen that was within that threat,” he said.
But there’s a first time for everything and that’s why Coons stays busy, fully investigating each case he receives. Many end up being empty threats.
“It could be an attention type situation. It could be a mental illness as well,” he explained.
Indiana Center for Children Director Julie Bingham agrees. She believes this could be a cry for attention or more.
“There’s a grandiose feeling of putting that fear into other people and they have these grandiose feelings,” she said.
Bingham believes mental health treatment could be the key to not just cutting down on threats, but also attacks.
“Early intervention. We stress that if there are signs early on in a child, at least have an assessment to rule out if there’s any emotional disturbances or behavior concerns,” she advised.
According to Coons, the suspects could face a variety of charges including terroristic mischief, terroristic threat and intimidation.
These are felonies that carry serious penalties if convicted.