LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An 18-year-old student from Bullitt Central High School faced a judge instead of a teacher Friday morning, accused of making terroristic threats against his school.
Christian Lee Cargill's arrest stems from a note found by another student in a bathroom stall Thursday morning.
WDRB News obtained a copy of the note and confirmed its text with Bullitt County School officials. It said, "I hate my f-ing life so I'm going to kill myself and shoot up the school."
Cargill pleaded not guilty Friday morning to terroristic threatening. The school spent much of Thursday on a soft lockdown as security staff reviewed footage from surveillance cameras to determine who'd been in and out of the restroom.
"By the end of the day, looking at some handwriting samples and talking with students and talking with that student, he fully admitted that he was responsible for the note," said Becky Sexton, Assistant Superintendent for Bullitt County Schools.
Police say whether it's a cry for help or a prank to avoid a project or a test, fake threats bring real punishment.
"We hope the young man gets the help before he gets the punishment, but we have to hold them accountable," said Shepherdsville Police Chief Rick McCubbin. "You can't yell 'the theater is on fire' anymore. You can't be the boy who cried wolf anymore. Those days are just over."
Cargill is already suspended and could possibly be expelled. If convicted of the terroristic threatening charge, he faces up to five years in prison.
"Parents need to impress upon their children that any kind of a threat will be taken seriously," Sexton said.
That's especially true with emotions running high and raw at schools across the country in the wake of recent deadly school shootings. Seventeen people lost their lives and more than dozen others were injured in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida.
In Marshall County, Kentucky, two students died after police say a 15-year-old opened fire on his classmates in January. Prosecutors charged Gabriel Parker as an adult.
In the days after, schools in Paoli and Pekin, Indiana, canceled class due to threats online. Although school officials believe the threats are bogus, they're not taking any chances. And anyone caught making such threats will face very real and stiff punishment.
Police and school officials are now asking parents to let their children know they will face real consequences even if their threats are fake.
"They're making adolescent threats but having adult consequences," Sexton said.
Cargill was in court Friday where he pleaded not guilty. His bond was set at $100,000. He's due back in court next week.
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