Teen faces intimation charge after threats to Cedar Rapids schools

Cedar Rapids Community School District Superintendent Tawana Grover folds her typed statement after speaking  Tuesday during a news conference at the Educational Leadership and Support Center in northwest Cedar Rapids. Grover and Cedar Rapids police Capt. Charlie Fields spoke about the threat to students made on social media after classes were canceled Monday. The arrest of a teen was announced Thursday night. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — An adolescent faces a cost of intimidation with a harmful weapon in reference to threats to Cedar Rapids faculties circulating on social media that led to lessons being canceled Monday and short-term restrictions on scholar backpacks.

Cedar Rapids police introduced Thursday evening they’d labored with the Iowa Division of Prison Investigation to arrest a 14-year-old. Authorities mentioned the teenager — whose identify was not launched — is from Cedar Rapids, however didn’t specify if they’re a scholar within the Cedar Rapids Neighborhood Faculty District.

Intimidation with a harmful weapon — which police mentioned Friday was the cost lodged — is a Class C felony, punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.

The 14-year-old will probably be charged in juvenile courtroom due to the teenager’s age, in keeping with Linn County Legal professional Nick Maybanks. He didn’t say if his workplace will ask a decide to switch the case into grownup courtroom, however did level out that teenagers ages 12 to fifteen normally are moved to grownup courtroom underneath Iowa’s youthful offender legislation just for offenses involving firearms and medicines, gang participation or forcible felonies equivalent to a deadly taking pictures, sexual abuse, kidnapping or theft.

Intimidation with a harmful weapon isn’t a forcible felony, he famous.

Officers, saying that the investigation is ongoing, declined to say if any weapons or gadgets like a cellphone or laptop had been confiscated as a part of the probe.

“We’re deeply grateful for the diligent and unwavering efforts of the Cedar Rapids Police Division,” mentioned a press release Thursday evening from Cedar Rapids faculties’ Superintendent Tawana Grover. “Their invaluable help and sources had been paramount in guaranteeing the security and safety of our group.”

The district is “glad” with the police division’s “investigation and findings,” district spokesman Justin Schaefer mentioned in an e mail Friday to The Gazette.

The district had notified mother and father final Sunday that its faculties can be closed Monday due to the threats, which they didn’t describe. Cedar Rapids faculties reopened Tuesday, though many college students — about 40 % — stayed away that day.

The district additionally imposed short-term new guidelines due to the threats: College students weren’t allowed to convey backpacks, baggage or purses until they had been clear and see-through. Lunchboxes had been allowed however might be examined by workers. Highschool college students weren’t allowed to be launched for lunch.

These new guidelines will finish Tuesday, which means college students can return to their campuses with common backpacks, Schaefer mentioned. There is no such thing as a faculty Monday for deliberate skilled growth for employees.

Schaefer declined to touch upon whether or not the district would search to self-discipline the teenager, saying it was a “scholar affairs matter.”

In a message to households Friday, Grover thanked mother and father for “entrusting us with the security and safety of your college students,” whereas reminding them to talk to their kids concerning the unacceptability of preventing, violence and different types of misconduct that might jeopardize the security of others.

Grover additionally thanked workers for his or her “unwavering help and cooperation” during the last week. “Regardless of feeling not sure and uneasy, you confirmed as much as faculty every day and supplied reassurance and a way of stability to our college students, fostering an atmosphere the place they really feel protected and supported,” she mentioned.

“It’s crucial that we come collectively to finish all of the mindless preventing, violence and threats which were happening in our faculty and group,” Grover mentioned.

Cedar Rapids police mentioned they had been made conscious of threats in opposition to faculties Sept. 30, a day earlier than the district introduced to folks that lessons can be canceled for Monday. Cedar Rapids police mentioned different businesses concerned within the investigation — which they earlier mentioned included the FBI — had been “extraordinarily useful” within the case, which they famous was “closed with out violence.”

Police mentioned, with out elaboration, that “parts of this case stay underneath investigation.”

Trish Mehaffey and Emily Andersen of The Gazette contributed to this report.

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