They can determine whether any threats made are credible.
In Wisconsin, for example, it is a misdemeanor if someone uses computerized communication systems to “frighten, intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass another person.” It is also against the law to “harass annoy, or offend another person.” See what the laws in your state are to determine if the police should get involved.
If the threats or comments are detrimental to your health, safety, or occupation, you might want to consult with an attorney who specializes in harassment, defamation of character, false light, intentional infliction of emotional distress, or similar types of civil action.
It’s no wonder that many teens are wrestling with this problem—they see the adults in their lives saying mean and nasty things to others on a regular basis.
Do your part to model appropriate behavior and address any hurtful language when it comes up.