PLAQUEMINE — A photo an eighth grade Iberville Parish student posted on social media of himself wearing a bandana over his face and brandishing a gun led to his arrest Thursday and he is likely to be expelled, authorities said.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said the 13-year-old student at Iberville's Math, Science and Arts Academy-West campus faces a charge of terrorizing for posting the photo of himself with the gun. He said the boy was released to his mother and is likely to be expelled.
"He will not be allowed back at school," Stassi said via text message.
Stassi, who earlier on Thursday described the incident as "a prank gone awry" said the matter remains under investigation and additional charges may be filed.
The image that circulated over social media Wednesday evening showed the student holding a semi-automatic rifle and warning students not to attend school.
"We had a young boy who took a picture holding a gun with a bandana across his face and he sent it to a couple friends through Snapchat," Stassi said. "Supposedly the friends put some verbiage on it talking about 'Don't go to school' and the next thing you know it's circulating everywhere in the world."
Stassi said deputies responded to calls about the image around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, showing up at the student's home and confiscated guns they found inside the residence.
Investigators are trying to pinpoint exactly who added the threatening message to the image and posted it, he said.
The Sheriff's Office posted a message to its official Facebook page around 8:30 a.m. Thursday after learning that many parents were checking their kids out of MSA-West in response to the supposed threat.
In that Facebook message the sheriff's office stated, "The safety of our schools and our students are paramount. We would not have allowed the school to open today if we thought the students were in jeopardy. Please send your children to school and assure them that they are safe."