HS Football Players Disciplined Over Tweeted Death Threats

District cannot comment on punishment, but two players did not play in game

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Monday, Nov 12, 2012  |  Updated 6:30 PM CDT
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Some West Mesquite High School football players were suspended after death threats were made on Twitter last week before a big game against Poteet High School.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Mesquite Reporter

Some West Mesquite High School football players were suspended after death threats were made on Twitter last week before a big game against Poteet High School.

The school district has disciplined four West Mesquite High School football players who made threats on social media against a rival team.

The messages on Twitter against cross-town rival Poteet High School were posted last week. The tweets said they wanted to "kill" the quarterback, and another one said "$20 [to] whoever hurt" the same player.

"Well, we really don't believe there was an intent to cause harm," said Laura Jobe, Mesquite Independent School District spokeswoman. "This was a case where we just felt things went too far."

The district could not comment on the details of punishment, but two of the players did not play in Friday night's game against Poteet.

None of the students will be suspended from school. The district said it is gray area because the threats weren't made at school or with school property.

"It was done outside of school, and the law just hasn't quite caught up to how we can disciple those students, specifically, for those types of cases," Jobe said.

Police are not investigating, so the students won't face any criminal charges.

"A teenager threatening to kill another teenager is just crazy," said Katie Green, a Poteet high school football fan. "You threatened a life, and that should be unacceptable and should be punished."

But West Mesquite football supporter Porschia Roney said that trash talk is just talk.

"It's football," she said. "They're playing against each other. It's a rival game, so they're going to say whatever they're going to say. I mean, as long as they're not going and hurting each other, I think it's OK."

But Green said the incident makes the whole city look bad.

"I feel like they should be taken off the team," she said. "They should be held to a much stronger punishment."

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