Online Post Vowing Killings at Whitman High School Traced to Tenn. Youth
A screengrab from the Web posting, in which a poll asks readers whom they would like to see die. The names have been blurred out.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A posting to an Internet gossip site that advocated killing students and staff members at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda has drawn the attention of police investigators, who said yesterday that its author might face criminal charges.
The anonymous writer, using the screen name "whitmanarson," claimed a plan to attack the school May 21 and "take a couple people i hate out wit me." Atop the posting was a poll, titled "Who Would You Like To See Die." It had drawn votes against various students, employees and school security officers.
Montgomery County police identified the writer only as a Tennessee juvenile who once attended Whitman and have asked Tennessee authorities to take him into custody. "Then they will conduct an interview and decide what they will charge him with," said Lucille Baur, a police spokeswoman.
Authorities learned of the threats late Monday, and police were assigned to "support the staff and students named in the threat" until it could be traced, according to a news release. Investigators said they think the threats were unlikely to be carried out because of the author's distance from the school.