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4.30.2008

student pleads not guilty to making web threats

A follow-up on the 15-year-old student who was arrested a few weeks ago for making threats against fellow students at Glen A. Wilson High School... The 15-year-old student, who allegedly posted violent messages on the school's Wikipedia page, has pleaded not guilty to seven counts of making criminal threats: Student arrested for alleged threats on school's wiki.

While the threat prompted school officials to cancel classes on April 18, anonymous offensive messages apparently began popping up more than a year ago on Glen A. Wilson's Wikipedia page, including racial slurs aimed at Asians and possible shootings:
The writer, who said he was a student, hid behind an anonymous e-mail address to threaten by name Asian students at the San Gabriel Valley school, hurl racial slurs at the school's primarily Asian badminton team and allude to possible attacks.

"I would love to see her shot right between the eyes with blood gushing out from her mouth begging for mercy as she clings onto a single shred of life," read a message about an Asian student posted May 28, 2007. "Haha now there's a great fantasy."

School district officials and sheriff's detectives did not start investigating the messages until two weeks ago, after Wikipedia staff alerted them to a violent threat posted April 16, the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting and a few days before the anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School.

"On Friday, April 18, 2008, there will be a shooting at this school," the threat said, promising to target "a good majority of the badminton team and almost every single fob" -- a reference to recent Asian immigrants "fresh off the boat."
Rather disturbing. More details here: Violent threats on Wilson High's Wikipedia page went unchecked. I've been told by several people close to the situation that the kid who started all this, a sophomore, is actually an Asian American student himself. (Glen A. Wilson has a large Asian student body.) If this is true, it adds a really weird element to the case, considering its possible hate dynamic. Either way, the kid is still a big idiot. I have little sympathy for someone who does something like this.