The bomb threats interrupting classes and lives at colleges and universities across the nation are no laughing matter.
And when and if the perpetrators are caught, the justice system should hand down punishments that are no joke.
A dorm at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro had to be evacuated Tuesday.
On Monday, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge had to cancel classes.
On Sept. 14, the University of Texas at Austin, North Dakota State University in Fargo and Hiram College in northeast Ohio had to be evacuated. All of these actions were because of bomb threats.
Fortunately, all of them have proven to be false.
A man was arrested Tuesday in the LSU threat, but authorities don't believe he is connected with the other cases.
While actual bombings in this country thankfully have been rare, authorities have little choice except to treat them as a serious threat until proven otherwise.
None of the schools affected by the recent bomb threats have had to face the level of interruption that the University of Pittsburgh did earlier this year. Pitt was rocked by a series of bomb threats that forced some classes to meet outside, canceled others, unnerved students, facility, staff and their families and forced special procedures for final exams.
A member of a Scottish terror group has been indicted on charges he emailed 17 threats to Pitt in April as well as to three federal courthouses in Pennsylvania, including the one in Johnstown. Other threats that were scrawled on bathroom walls at the school remain under investigation.
Also in the spring, Pitt had to deal with threats by a group that said it had hacked into the university's computers and was prepared to release confidential information about students and faculty.
Pitt discovered later its computers weren't hacked. But it still caused unneeded disruption at the school.
Two Ohio men have been charged in that extortion attempt, and one reportedly will plead guilty in federal court next month, his attorney said.
The attorney, Warner Mariani, told The Associated Press that Brett Hudson, 26, of Hillsboro didn't realize the seriousness of the situation.
"I just think they came up with, 'Hey, that'd be cool, huh?' and then it became, 'Let's do this, let's do that,'" Mariani said.
Mariani said Hudson wants "to get on with his life."
Not so fast, we hope. His crime is punishable by up to five years in prison, although sentencing guidelines normally would result in an 18-month jail term.
Given the unnecessary disruption Hudson caused, five years behind bars is certainly deserved.
If nothing else, it might make another would-be prankster realize the seriousness of making false threats.
University officials who have to deal with threats must take them seriously. So should the judiciary when the culprits of these hoaxes are caught.