RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A 14-year-old student has been charged with multiple counts of unlawful communication after threatening several students online.
According to Richland County Sheriff's Department, the Richland Northeast student threatened students through the use of a fake profile account online using a school-issued Google Chromebook.
WIS spoke with the parents of two teens who attend Richland Northeast High School in Richland School District Two. The two ninth-grade girls are just two of 16 high school students who were contacted by someone on the app "Google Hangouts" through school-issued Chromebooks.
"My daughter was contacted Saturday night, the 18th," said Diana Addison, whose daughter is 14 years old. "She talked to the person at first for about thirty minutes. She thought it was a prank, like one of their friends."
Addison's daughter began to feel uncomfortable, as the language turned not only sexual but threatening. She took the Chromebook to her mother.
"He's asking her if she's a virgin," Addison said. "She's petite that she fits his profile… she's so hot. And it just angered me."
Addison took matters into her own hands. She asked the person on the other end of the chat to video chat her, pretending to be her own daughter.
"He said, 'Sure can, sugar plum.' At first, it didn't connect. It hung up and he called back," she said. "When the guy came on it was an older Caucasian gentleman with grey hair. He looked stunned at first."
She took a few screenshots of the person who showed up on the other line. Addison said she hung up and he tried to call back. She blocked him, but he created another account and tried to call back again. She blocked that one, too. The person who showed up on her screen didn't say anything.
Addison's daughter's story is one of 15 other similar stories stemming from kids at Richland Northeast High School this month.
"She first received it on November 8th," said Robert Andrews, the father of another ninth-grader at RNE, "but she told me on Sunday morning. And the guy had a picture of my house and said, 'I know where you live and I'm coming to see you real soon.'"
The messages are sickening, both Addison and Andrews told WIS. Many of the messages from several different accounts involve threats of rape, kidnapping, and assault. Addison posted screenshots to her Facebook page in an effort to catch the harasser.
"As long as these kids are scared and terrified and you're out there harassing them, just like you don't sleep and you wanna play? Well, I'm not sleeping either. Not sleeping and I'm not saying silent about anything. Anything I'm learning, I'm sharing with the public so these other parents can know because they should've been notified in the first place. I'm not withholding any information because that's wrong to do that."
A message was sent out to RNE parents Tuesday afternoon, outlining the steps school administrators and local law enforcement were taking in an effort to catch the sender behind the emails.