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Teen held as terrorist for 'joke'

April 9, 2004 at 1:51 PM

NEW ORLEANS, April 9 (UPI) -- A 15-year-old New Orleans area girl faced felony terrorist charges Friday after telling friends she planned to kill two classmates and the principal.

The girl, whose name was withheld, reportedly told the two other students she had a gun and knife stashed in an unused school locker on Tuesday and planned to carry out her threat the next day. St. Bernard Parish authorities were alerted and the girl was arrested at her home Wednesday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. No weapons were found.

School system spokeswoman Bev Lawrason described the incident as "a joke that got out of hand." But, Capt. Darlene Poche, head of the sheriff's juvenile division, said, "In today's climate, threats of that nature are no longer taken as a joke and will be investigated and prosecuted accordingly. We're not going to take that chance."

Juvenile probation officials have ordered a psychological evaluation for the Chalmette Middle School student.

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