Last Wednesday, five days after the tragedy in that Aurora, Colorado theater, an employee of Kent State University was monitoring the “mentions” the University was receiving on Twitter when one caught their eye.
It was a tweet from 19 year old Kent State sophomore William Koberna in which he mentioned the University and its president, Lester Lefton, by name and included a threat of “shooting up” the school. Koberna also included “ASAP” in the tweet, which prompted the employee to notify University Police who, in turn, contacted Twitter to find out who owned the account.
On Saturday, the police conducted interviews with Koberna and some people that knew him from the University and less than 24 hours later they had decided to file charges. He has pleaded not guilty to aggravated menacing (misdemeanor) and a felony charge of inducing panic.
His bail was set at $50,000 and he has been released since posting 10%, but it was ordered that he wear an electronic monitor and have no contact with Lefton or the campus if he did so. A preliminary hearing is set for Friday.
This is an example of people not thinking before they tweet. Did this kid actually intend to “shoot up” the school and its President? We don’t know, but you have to realize, especially at 19 years old, that you cannot post stupid shit like that on the Internet without consequence.
What I would really like to point out is how Kent State University handled the task of notifying their students. I am an alum of Kent State (Kent Read, Kent Write, Kent Remember What I Did Last Night!) and when I switched from my school email to a more “adult” one, I had all my mail forwarded to the new account. This includes emails that the University sends about closings, delays, sporting events, etc. Well on Sunday night I was shocked to see the email below, but happy to see that the University had done its part and gotten word out quickly to all students with an @kent.edu email address, or one that is linkined to it, and let them know that everything was safe on campus.