PEARL CITY (HawaiiNewsNow) - Federal law enforcement authorities are once again warning students and members of the public about the consequences surrounding hoax threats like the one made against Pearl City High School on Thursday.
After social media posts appearing to threaten students and faculty were posted online, Honolulu police officers responded to to the Pearl City campus on Thursday morning, as well as the campus of neighboring Momilani Elementary.
The FBI later determined that the threat was not credible, and DOE officials said classes were continuing as scheduled, but students who were not at school would have their absences excused.
A spokesperson for the FBI said Friday that the individual responsible for the initial threat has been identified. The individual told investigators that the threat was intended as a joke.
Law enforcement sources tell Hawaii News Now that the individual apologized but was not arrested, even though the crime could be classified as terroristic threatening ― a felony offense.
State Department of Education officials sent a letter to students and families on Friday, asking them to refrain from re-posting the threats on social media.
“Reposting a threat is as good as making the threat itself — it breathes life into the initial post,” says Dr. Christina Kishimoto, the department’s Superintendent. ""We encourage anyone who sees these threats to take screenshots and immediately report them to school officials and police.
The offending posts can also be reported to the social media platforms they were discovered upon.
This story will be updated.