One of the greatest myths that we attempt to instill in our children is that their teenage years will be the happiest time of their lives. Of course, anyone who has lived through adolescence knows that it is a period that can be filled with conflict and angst. And while most teens are able to navigate safely into adulthood, there are those who have a more difficult time. And in a bout of emotional turmoil, an unhappy teen could act out in a very dangerous manner.

Recently in Linden, New Jersey, a 15-year-old boy allegedly posted a threatening message on social media. The post contained a picture of the boy holding what may have been a handgun along with a threat against his high school. According to police, the post included the ominous words “Don’t go to school tomorrow.”

The authorities were alerted to the post by high school officials and parents who saw it online. The teenager was arrested at his home soon after the police received word of the post. He was charged with a single count of third-degree terroristic threats. He was later released to the custody of his parents. According to the police, the high school was under no credible threat and classes were in no way affected.

It is all too easy for a young person to make a mistake. Perhaps the boy thought he was making a joke, or maybe he has issues with his classmates. In either case, this single misjudgment could have a profound effect on his future.

If your child gets in trouble with the law, it is important that his or her rights are protected. Sometimes illegal or dangerous behavior is a warning sign that a child needs special attention. An experienced criminal attorney can work on your child’s behalf in an effort to prevent excessive punishment and to get the child the kind of help that he or she needs.

Source:, “Student, 15, charged with social media gun threat against high school,” Jeff Goldman, Dec. 8,2016