FRISCO, Texas — A chaotic and "challenging" week for school and law enforcement officials investigating alleged threats against schools culminated in the arrest of seven students, the Frisco Police Department said in a Friday statement.
Among those arrested, police said, were middle school students who "are learning a painful lesson at too young of an age."
Frisco police, like many other agencies across North Texas, were forced to respond to multiple threats made on social media against schools, apparently part of a wider social media trend.
While police were able to determine that the majority of the alleged threats here in North Texas were not credible, more than one of those apparent "hoaxes" prompted school officials to close campuses while police investigated.
Police agencies - even the FBI - have been warning throughout the week of the serious consequences that await those who make threats. Doing so is a federal crime and can result in up to five years in federal prison.
"This is not a game or contest for more likes or followers," Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said in his statement announcing the arrests. "School threats and threats to school staff are criminal."
One Lewisville ISD parent, Laura Couture, said she's fed up with worrying about school safety.
"You start to question if you wanna send your kids to school, if you wanna keep them home from school," she said. "The hard part is knowing where we go from here."
Shilson echoed that, writing "as parents, we see the fear and anxiety these threats cause to our children about the safety of their school."
Shilson also applauded those in the community - including parents and students - who they said came forward to report the threats, "It truly takes a cooperative effort by everyone in our community to keep our schools safe," he said.
Police noted they are still investigating the threats and said more arrests could still come.