Police: Teen tweets about blowing up rival school's gym - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Police: Teen tweets about blowing up rival school's gym

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A Long island teen says it was a misunderstanding but an inappropriate comment online has gotten a high school student in trouble. 

He allegedly threatened to blow up a rival high school during an athletic event. 

In the days leading up to a rivalry basketball game at Kings Park High School, students exchanged heated text messages on social media until school officials say it went too far. 

16-year-old Steven Taggert from Islip was arrested after police say he wrote that he had a bomb and was going to blow up the gym at Kings Park. 

Family and friends didn't want to talk to Fox 5 at Steve Taggert's home -- but police say the Islip high school teenager had plenty to say online -- threatening to blow up the Kings Park High School gym on Twitter.           

"To say you have a bomb -- us kids know it's a joke but it's not funny," said Charlie Plate. 

Charlie Plate is a sophomore at Kings Park and school officials barred students at both schools from attending the game after Taggert was arrested. 

"His whole life is going to be changed because he said that one thing. You shouldn't say things like that."  

"Kids need to know the seriousness, threats and using language that's inappropriate and in this day it's very serious," said parent Peter Plate. 

Susan A. Schnebel, the Superintendent of Islip Public Schools issued a statement Saturday:  

"Yesterday, the district was made aware that a high school student posted an inappropriate comment via social media. The statement was in reference to an upcoming athletic competition at a neighboring school. Upon reviewing the content, the districts immediately contacted local law enforcement officials as per district protocols," said Schnebel.  

"There was no safety concern. However, both districts decided that no student spectators would be permitted to attend the event."

Taggert is a junior at Islip High School but is being charged as an adult. He posted a message on his Twitter page saying he was sorry and that he let his school and his family down. His attorney says this is all a misunderstanding. 

"This is a well-respected family. There are mitigating factors. This incident was fairly overblown," said Taggert attorney James Polk.   

Taggert has entered a plea to charge of falsely reporting an incident. He was released from jail on Saturday and is due back in court in mid-February.

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