Freshman Charged After Social Media Gun Threat

BERLIN — A Stephen Decatur High School ninth-grader was charged with the disruption of school activities this week after being identified as the suspect who posted a threat on social media two weeks ago about a possible shooting at the Berlin school.

On Wednesday, September 28, an unknown suspect made a post on the social media outlet Instagram alluding to a possible school shooting at Stephen Decatur High School. As a result, school activities were delayed and rearranged the following day and additional law enforcement personnel were brought into the school on the following day to investigate the threat and ensure the safety of the students and staff.

At the time, Worcester County Public Schools spokesperson Carrie Sterrs described the situation at Stephen Decatur High School and the precautions that were being taken.

“We were made aware of the social media post last night,” she said at the time. “Law enforcement was immediately contacted. With their cooperation, we increased the police presence at Stephen Decatur High School today.”

While the threat was never acted upon and school activities resumed as normal, the investigation continued over the last two weeks. On Wednesday, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives, along with officials from the Worcester County Board of Education, were able to identify the person responsible as a 9th-grade juvenile who attended Stephen Decatur High School.

The juvenile was interviewed with his parent and school staff present and confessed to making the threatening post on social media. As a result, the juvenile has been charged with disruption of school activities.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.