MISHAWAKA – A student at Mishawaka High School faces charges in a juvenile court after police and school officials said he threatened to shoot the school in retaliation for being disciplined.
Prosecutors on Monday filed two bullying charges against the 17-year-old boy, saying he threatened Jessica Mann, deputy principal of Mishawaka High School, after she took him into custody. According to court documents, the student threatened to “shoot” the school and Mann on December 20 in retaliation for the disciplinary measure.
The threats caused the school to close and the switch to virtual learning for three consecutive days before the Christmas holidays. On December 27, Mishawaka School Town Superintendent Wayne Barker sent a letter to families saying face-to-face learning would resume in high school when classes resume Thursday.
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“Threatening a public school is never a joke,” Barker wrote in the letter. “This can have serious legal and financial consequences, and at the very least, it disrupts the learning environment for students and consumes staff resources.”
A message seeking comment was not immediately returned by a district spokesperson.
Mishawaka police arrested the teenager on December 27, according to a department statement, and he has since been held in a juvenile detention center. The press release stated that the student was “cooperative”.
The student is currently in juvenile court, or probation court, and prosecutors are expected to file a special waiver to transfer the case to adult court or higher.
The superior court system generally provides for harsher sentences if an accused is convicted of a felony, as the sentences or provisions of estates courts often focus on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Superior court hearings and records are public, while some estates court hearings and records are confidential under the law.
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