Two teens were arrested Thursday a day after they edited a photo of themselves at Walker High School to look like they had a weapon in a classroom, according to a Walker Police Department press release.
Police said 17-year-old Gage Allen, of Walker, was arrested on terrorizing and an unnamed 16-year-old was arrested on intimidation and interference in the operations of schools. Allen was booked in the Livingston Parish Detention Center with a $25,000 bond. The juvenile was released to the custody of parents.
Investigators said the pair posted the edited picture to social media and shared it with others, including school officials and police, according to the Thursday night press release.
“As soon as we became aware of the photograph, my officers and school officials worked to quickly identify the students in the photo,” said Walker Police Chief David Addison. “My officers were also able to determine that the picture was altered to insert the weapon image. … We were able to determine that there was no credible threat to the school or to any of the students, faculty or administration."
Addison expressed the seriousness of the incident, especially in light of the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida school shooting, during which 17 people were killed.
He said incidents like this one in Walker deserve a harsher punishment for those involved than just a simple time-out.
"The concern, the fear and the anxiety generated by the actions of those who are responsible for these actions is not an unintended consequence," Addison said. "These actions are malicious. These actions do not accidentally occur. They are purposely undertaken, and they create real risk and real danger."
Officials announced earlier in the day Thursday that the high school will host a "See It, Say It" rally on Friday to discuss how students should detect and report suspicious behavior, according to a press release from Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lori Steele.