See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Michigan teen shows why you shouldn't joke about shooting up your school

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 3:47 PM

  • Courtesy

A teenager from Linden High School wants other kids to know that joking about shooting up your school is no laughing matter.

Earlier this year, Jordan Asbury, 16, wrote "I'm going to shoot up the school" on a desk in biology class. He wrote it on Feb. 20 — just days after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 dead and sparked a national debate about gun safety laws.

The next day, Asbury was handcuffed and taken to the police department. His troubles only worsened from then, with the teen getting charged with a false threat of terrorism and facing a 20-year felony and $20,000 in fines. He also was expelled from Linden schools for 180 days, served two months in juvenile detention, had to complete community service, pay fines, and serve a 90-day probation. To make matters worse, his parents had to pay $3,000 to hire an attorney. He is currently looking at transferring to an alternative school.

The threat was eventually deemed non-credible. But still: That's a lot of headache for some stupid graffiti.

"It was meant as a joke and obviously it was a pretty bad one — obviously I wasn't taking into account the people who have been through situations like that," Ashbury told MLive. "It can change everything — one thing you write, say or do."

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton says there's nothing funny about joking about school shootings.

"Even if you do it as a joke, the law doesn't deem it as a joke," Leyton told MLive. "I'm not looking to hang felonies on kids, but on the same token I cannot have that kind of disruption in our county."

In 2016, another Linden teen pleaded guilty after joking about shooting a school in an Instagram beef gone wrong.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit