Posted: Sep 17, 2010 9:04 AM by Nichole Larkey
Updated: Sep 17, 2010 9:13 AM
NAPOLEONVILLE, La. (AP) - Assumption Parish authorities aren't discussing the possible motivations behind a black student's posting of racially oriented threats against other black students on the social networking site Facebook.
17-year-old Feronta Thompson was arrested Thursday and booked with terrorizing, cyberstalking, hate crime and theft of utility service. Sheriff Mike Waguespack said the youth, an 11th-grader, made a full confession. Waguespack also said that, according to the suspect, nobody else was involved. The threats were made against four or five students.
Assumption Parish School Superintendent Earl "Tibby" Martinez said deputies took the student into custody around 2 p.m. Thursday at Assumption High School in Napoleonville.
Parents began complaining Tuesday night after the threats were posted on Facebook.
Waguespack said that the Facebook postings indicated the threats would be carried out Wednesday at the school. All students at the school were searched Wednesday and Thursday and police presence was beefed up at the school. Also, parents received automated telephone
calls informing them of the situation.
That resulted in many parents keeping their children out of the school, which has an enrollment of about 1,200. Martinez said that about 800 students were not in school Wednesday and that about 500 missed classes Thursday. Martinez said both school days went smoothly and that students said Thursday they felt safe and were thankful for the enhanced security.
About 60 parents discussed concerns about the threats during a school board meeting Wednesday night.
Waguespack said the suspect is believed to have used a computer at home to make the threats and gained access to the Internet through a neighbor's unsecured wireless network.
In addition to criminal penalties, the student also could face school system punishment, including possible expulsion.