Student Facing Terroristic Threat Charges After Decorating High School Bathroom With Laughable 'Satanic' Graffiti
from the HOW-DO-YOU-PENTAGRAM dept
Apparently, this graffiti first appeared in a Brownsboro High School boys restroom before making its way across Facebook (as one's graffiti does), where it was spotted by an increasing number of concerned parents and students. That groundswell of social media handwringing culminated in this:
School and law enforcement officials received information about graffiti on a bathroom stall at Brownsboro High School on Tuesday afternoon and investigated the matter. On Wednesday, the high school student was detained at the beginning of the school day and was questioned. The student was later charged with terrorist threat on a public entity, a third degree felony.The Athens (TX) Daily Review's coverage provides more color commentary from a concerned parent.
Stephanie Teel shared her concerns, and a photo on the Chandlerslist Facebook page.At which point, the school district leapt into action, painting over the graffiti and asking students not to talk about it. Oh, and they sent the cops after the unnamed student, who will undoubtedly soon be graced with a name because of this decision:
“Today someone wrote on the walls starting 10 students would be sacrificed on 11/6/14. It also had writings about Satan as well as hell. I was informed it's been going on for the past couple days,” she wrote. “With all the school shootings in the past, I don't believe this is something to be taken lightly or joked about especially by a school official whom we trust with our children's safety daily.”
At the beginning of the school day Wednesday, the student, who is being considered an adult instead of a minor, was immediately detained.That escalated quickly. KLTV's coverage includes this not-quite-accurate description of the graffiti/threat:
Pictures of the graffiti show images of a pentagram and words printed in and around it mentioning Satan and sacrifices. The graffiti depicted a pentagram and had phrases including "I will sacrifice 10 students" and "Satan is God".A pentagram it ain't, at least not in the classic Satanic sense. For comparison:
And if there's something referencing the death of "10 students," it can't be found in this "heavily circulated" photo, which only shows the phrase "sacrifice the children."
If the unnamed student was hoping to impress the Dark Lord with his restroom wall tribute, he couldn't have done much worse than this Lone Star State approximation littered with quasi-Satanic afterthoughts -- something about as "threatening" as anything shown by Count Floyd and as "Satanic" as Simon Milligan and man-servant Hecubus. Someone bored and stupid made this, and now they're facing felony charges… as an adult.
Hopefully, an investigation is also underway, rather than some sort of railroading. Third-degree felonies are punishable by fines up to $10,000 and sentences of 2-10 years. Texas is a bad place to be caught uttering terroristic threats. Just ask Justin Carter, whose online trash talk netted him $500,000 bail, time in solitary confinement (for his protection) and acts of violence from other inmates. As Tamara Tabo points out at Above the Law, terroristic threat laws steamroll the Constitution in their zeal to bring "terrorists" to justice.
Politicians and prosecutors trumpet terroristic threat laws as tools for the swift intervention of authorities, allowing law enforcement to prevent horrendous crimes. Sure, they make things easier. Ordinarily, if someone tips off the cops that someone else was talking about committing a crime, the police investigate. They could make an arrest later, if their investigation revealed that necessity.Maybe this will all shake out in a few days. Maybe the cops did capture someone who needed capturing. Or maybe the swift overreaction of students, parents, administration and local law enforcement -- all primed to believe another school shooting is constantly just around the corner -- will see someone harshly punished for the crime of being stupid in public.
With terroristic threat laws, the suspicious talk itself is the crime, not just evidence of plans for one. The cops can arrest for the threat charge and investigate the possible underlying violent scheme later. Meanwhile, the accused is not simply enduring the inconvenience of a police inquiry. He is locked up. Even if he is ultimately acquitted or charges are dropped, months of lost liberty is too high a price for using gauche language or failing to understand his audience’s sensitivities. It’s too high a price when police could have investigated the old-fashioned way.