Student suspended for sharing screenshot of possible gun threat
Published Wednesday, September 25, 2019 6:13PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 25, 2019 6:47PM EDT
A 16-year-old has been suspended from school for seven days after he shared a screenshot of a possible gun threat from another student.
Kyle Robison, 16, said he received a text message on Snapchat after first period Tuesday morning that said "do you have a gun so I can shoot myself."
Robison thought it was a joke, and sent back a playful message with a video of a song. But the next message he received said "I'm gonna shoot up the school in 4th (period). I'm not joking."
Robison, unsure of what to do, decided to share a screenshot of the messages with a small group of about seven friends. But somehow, the screenshot circulated and spread quickly.
"Apparently, it blew up,” Robison told CTV News Toronto. "They told me there was parents calling in and everything, and it was my fault, when in reality only like seven people had it."
Kyle Robison, 16, and his mother are seen in this photograph.(Tracy Tong/CTV News Toronto)
Durham Regional Police were called to the school, where Robison says he was interrogated about having a gun.
"They read the first message where he was asking me for a gun," Robison said. "The officers thought I had a weapon, so they said do you have any weapons? I said 'Other than paintball guns, I do not.'"
Police confirmed to CTV News Toronto there was never a threat to safety and that they concluded there were inappropriate text messages between students that were taken out of context.
Both Robison and the student who sent the possible threat were suspended from school.
Robison was suspended from school for seven days for his part in sharing the messages.
Georgette Davis, Superintendent of Education, Safe Schools and Well-Being for the Durham District School Board, would not speak about the case specifically, but stressed that students should "focus on telling a caring adult if there is any concerns that you may have as a student."
"When a situation arises, we have a process by which we investigate and consider all of the mitigating circumstances, and we do have our community partners that help us with that, and then from that we have progressive discipline processes that we follow,” she said.
Robison said he did consider reporting the possible threat to a teacher or principal immediately, but that he wanted to consult other friends first.
"If I had gone straight to the office, if I didn't screenshot it, police would've come, probably would've locked down the school, probably would've been a huge inconvenience for the police," Robison said.
Robison's mother, Emily McCoy, only learned of the situation after the school day ended.
"I think it's a traumatic lesson for Kyle. I think it's excessive," McCoy said. "I feel like Kyle is being made to be an instigator of something, when really I feel like he was trying to prevent something from happening and trying to feel out whether it was a real threat or not before he took a stance on it."