2 students claim school threats were joke, prosecutors not laughing

TACOMA -- A 16-year-old boy who allegedly took to Twitter and threatened to "shoot up" Franklin Pierce High School and another who allegedly threatened to kill faculty members face felony harassment charges, despite their claims it was a joke.

According to the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office, the first boy took to Twitter Monday after rumors of a potential school shooting circulated among students at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma. The boy allegedly tweeted "attention! attention! It's me that is shooting up the school tomorrow so be prepared and goodnight! I'm shooting up the school bro! sshh."

Several students told their parents about the tweet, prosecutors said, and parents called police. When police contacted the boy, he said he was "only joking," and allegedly told police that in the wake of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting it would be funny to say he was going to shoot up the school.

A second student allegedly threatened to kill "several faculty members," the prosecutor's office said.

The two boys were arrested and appeared in Pierce County juvenile court Tuesday afternoon, where they pleaded not guilty to felony harassment.  They are not being named by Q13 FOX News because they are  charged as juveniles.

The prosecutor's office said they will be detained at Remann Hall juvenile detention center pending a hearing on Nov. 4.

The Franklin Pierce School district released a note on their website Monday, alerting parents that two students were being investigated for making threats against the school's administration. They also downplayed rumors of a potential school shooting.

"Throughout the evening, there have been many rumors spread on social media," the school district said. "Investigations into these rumors have led us to believe that these rumors are not credible."

As an extra precaution, the school district added a police presence to the high school Tuesday.