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Illinois authorities are reminding people that threatening to hurt students or anyone else at a school is no joke.

State associations representing Illinois police chiefs, sheriffs and state's attorneys issued a news release Wednesday. They say law enforcement takes threats of school violence seriously, no matter the age of the person making them or whether they intended it as a prank.

They warn that threats made personally or through social media or other means will be investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The crime is punishable by years in prison.

The statement comes less than a month after 17 people died in a shooting at a Florida high school.

— Associated Press

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