SALT LAKE CITY -- The Unified Police Department has launched a new video campaign to tell students and parents it’s ‘Not Funny’ to make fake school threats.
That includes things like making a threat to a school, snapping selfies with a gun, or just saying "don’t come to school that day."
“Trying to be funny," Sheriff Rosie Rivera said. "All they’re looking for is a little attention and they get it."
UPD debuted the new video campaign Tuesday, mapping out a scenario where a student at a local high school makes a fake threat to be "funny."
First, you see a student taking selfies with two different weapons, the next day at school he shows his friends.
“Know what would be cool? If you posted it to Snapchat man!” One student said. “Yeah, yeah, yeah! You should caption it ‘don’t come to Mr.Hansen’s class!’”
“That would be so awesome," another student chimed in.
The problem is, these fake threat can look very real to other students.
“Some of the kids think that it’s a joke," Sheriff Rivera said. "But some of the kids that see these threats don’t think it’s a joke and they don’t know."
“They’re fearful to go to school and it does create a lot of fear in people’s minds, ‘Is it going to be us next?’”
The video goes on to show a fellow student seeing the Snapchat, she then alerts her school resource officer.
The officer then goes to the young man’s class and brings him to an office for a meeting, his parents are also in attendance.
“It was a joke!,” he said panicked voice.
“We take every threat seriously and we have to investigate each one,” the principal explains.
”It was a joke! it was a joke, he wasn’t going to hurt anybody!” his dad says.
Showing viewers the very real consequences of a fake threat.
”I’m going to take you to jail. We’re going to screen charges on you for terroristic threats,” the officer in the film tells the student.
“What? He’s not a terrorist," his mom says. "He’s going to college!”
The student is then placed in handcuffs and escorted out of the school.
This isn’t a scare tactic, UPD is pushing for prevention.
”We don’t want kids afraid to go to school, that’s the whole point," Sheriff Rivera said. "Our kids should be there to learn, to grow, not to be afraid."
The hope is that schools will show the video to students, and that parents will watch it with their kids to help spread the message that it's not funny to make fake threats, and there are real consequences.
You can watch the video here.