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Judge bans teen from violent videogames after school shooting threat

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A judge has banned a Chicago-area high school student from playing violent videogames after the teen posted a Snapchat video of himself joking about performing a school shooting.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Friday, Lake Park High School in the Chicago suburb of Roselle shut down following rumors on social media of a threat against the school. Roselle police determined that the threat wasn’t credible, but school officials opted to cancel classes for the rest of the day.

A sophomore at the school, whose name was not released because of his age, became irritated by talk on social media about the closure. He uploaded a Snapchat video that showed him playing what prosecutors described as a violent videogame and saying, “Ya’ll need to shut up about school shootings, or I’ll do one.”

He was charged with felony disorderly conduct and taken to the DuPage County juvenile detention facility.

The boy’s public defender said his comment was a joke, and police officers who searched his home found no weapons. Judge Robert Anderson released him to his parents but placed him on indefinite home detention, further ordering that his cell phone be turned over to his parents and that he was not allowed to play violent videogames.

“You can play all the Mario Kart you want,” Anderson said.

The youth’s post was not connected to the rumors that had led to the closure of the high school’s two campuses on Friday.

Videogames have predictably come under scrutiny since the February 14 Parkland school shooting that left 17 students dead. A representative in Rhode Island, for example, has proposed an additional tax on M-rated games. However, studies that have looked for a causal link between violent games and real-life acts of violence have generally been sketchy at best.