Student who police say made threats against Mishawaka High School charged in juvenile court

Mishawaka High School Tribune Photo/GREG SWIERCZ
Mishawaka High School Tribune Photo/GREG SWIERCZ

MISHAWAKA — A student at Mishawaka High School faces charges in juvenile court after police and school officials say he made threats to carry out a shooting at the school in retaliation for being disciplined.

Prosecutors filed two charges of intimidation against the 17-year-old boy Monday, saying he sent threats to Jessica Mann, an assistant principal at Mishawaka High School, after she gave him detention. According to court documents, the student threatened to "fire shots at" the school and Mann on Dec. 20 in retaliation for the disciplinary action.

The threats caused the school to close and move to virtual learning for three days in a row before Christmas break. On Dec. 27, School City of Mishawaka Superintendent Wayne Barker sent a letter to families saying in-person learning would resume at the high school when classes resume Thursday.

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"Making a threat to any public school is never a joke," Barker wrote in the letter. "It can have severe legal and financial consequences, and at the very least, it disrupts the learning environment for students and consumes staff resources."

A message seeking comment was not immediately returned by a spokeswoman for the district.

Mishawaka police arrested the teenager on Dec. 27, per a release from the department, and he has been detained in the juvenile detention facility since then. The release stated the student was being "cooperative."

The student is currently in juvenile, or probate, court and prosecutors would have to file a special waiver to move the case to adult, or superior, court.

The superior court system generally has more severe sentences should a defendant be convicted of a crime, as sentences, or dispositions, in probate courts are often focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment. Hearings and records in superior court are public, while some hearings and records in probate court are confidential by law.

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This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: Mishawaka High School student charged for threatening to shoot school