Boy, 15, arrested for making threats on social media against high school in West Newbury

A 15-year-old boy is facing felony charges for allegedly using social media platforms to make threatening statements against a high school in West Newbury, officials said.

The West Newbury boy, a sophomore at Pentucket Regional High School, was arrested Wednesday for making threats, according to a joint statement from the Pentucket Regional School District and Merrimac and West Newbury police.

Officials could not confirm rumors earlier this week that the boy was making threats on social media, the statement said.

“However, [Tuesday] evening, numerous students and school families in Merrimac and West Newbury came forward with information about new posts, allegedly made by the suspect, in which he makes threats to commit a violent act at the school,” the statement said. “The police departments worked together throughout the night and, after an investigation ... West Newbury Police today received and executed an arrest warrant.”


Police did not find any weapons when the boy was arrested, officials said.

The boy was set to be arraigned in Newburyport Juvenile Court on a charge of threatening to use dangerous items to disrupt a school, public building, or transport, officials said.

The school district, which includes students from Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury, also is disciplining the student, officials said.

“Police do not believe there is any active danger to the school community, however out of an abundance of caution, the West Newbury Police will have an increased police presence at the high school on Wednesday,” the statement said.

West Newbury police are asking anyone with information about the threats to call 978-363-1212.

Globe Correspondent Alyssa Lukpat contributed to this report. John R. Ellement can be reached at ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.