Police still have no link between Brantford teen and threatened U.S. high school

Police are still looking for a connection between a New Hampshire high school and a 14-year-old Brantford girl they say threatened some students at the school in an Instagram post.

A 14-year-old girl was charged after police say an Instagram post talked about wanting students to get shot

Police say they're still searching for a link between a New Hampshire high school and a Brantford teen they've charged with uttering threats on Instagram. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

Police are still looking for a connection between a New Hampshire high school and a 14-year-old Brantford girl they say threatened some students at the school in an Instagram post.

Authorities in Hanover, N.H., say they're still trying to determine what link, if any, a Brantford teen has to Hanover High School.

One student at the Hanover school published an op-ed about gun ownership in the New York Times this week. Police are aware of the op-ed, said Lt. Scott Rathburn, but haven't uncovered any evidence of a connection.

Right now, he said, they don't know what the link is, or even if there is one.

"Our community is still passing on information to try to determine if there was a contact, or some sort of previous meeting, or how she may have learned of Hanover, N.H," he said.

But so far, "we haven't had anything to point us to one thing."

Police arrested the girl this week after Hanover police say they discovered a threat in a social media post.

An Instagram message was directed to some students at the school, who then shared it with other students, investigators say. It was eventually shared with school officials and police.

Rathburn said the messaged referenced "wanting people to get shot."

The girl has been charged with one count of uttering threats to cause bodily harm. She was released on bail Wednesday, Brantford police say, and appears in court again April 18.

Meanwhile, Hanover High School was a "closed" rather than "open" campus Wednesday because of the threat, Rathburn said. That means students had to sign in and out every time they left or returned to the school. There was also extra police presence.

Provincial police announced charges this week against five tweens and teens for threatening schools in Ontario since last month's massacre at a Florida high school. Those accused also used Instagram.

Experts have said online threats tend to spike after high-profile school shootings. Aimee Morrison, a professor of digital media at the University of Waterloo said Tuesday that some teens make threats on social media in an attempt to gain notoriety and garner a larger following.

About the Author

Samantha Craggs

Reporter

Samantha Craggs is a CBC News reporter based in Hamilton, Ont. She has a particular interest in politics and social justice stories, and tweets live from Hamilton city hall. Follow her on Twitter at @SamCraggsCBC, or email her at samantha.craggs@cbc.ca

With files from Canadian Press