Parents, talk to your kids about the seriousness of making false reports at school

Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

550pm 4 9 18 monday·


Two male students – one just 11 years old — were arrested Monday for making school threats. They are the 21st and 22nd students charged by Volusia County sheriff’s deputies since the Feb. 14 shootings in Parkland.

In the first incident, School Resource Deputy Anthony Abato at New Smyrna Beach Middle School was called Monday about 11:16 a.m. to investigate a report of a student threatening the school.

A teacher reported her student came up to her and stated, “I am going to shoot up the school.” He then shook a box of Tic Tac candy to sound like a gunshot and walked up to an unknown student and said he was going to shoot that student.

Two other young witnesses told Deputy Abato they heard the defendant threaten to shoot the school.

The 13-year-old student was brought to the assistant principal’s office and he advised he “was only joking around and was being sarcastic.” The defendant also stated that a family member has numerous guns, including several handguns and ammunition that are locked up in a safe, but said a shotgun and rifle are accessible. The student was placed under arrest.

In a second, unrelated incident at Holly Hill K-8 School, administrators told a sheriff’s deputy that a student was sent to the dean’s office after being disruptive in class. The student’s teacher said the student used his arm to resemble cocking a shotgun, pointed his arm at the teacher as if he was loading the gun and said, “bang, bang.” The student’s parent was contacted. The student is facing suspension pending expulsion from school.

Both youngsters were arrested and charged under Florida Statute 790.162: threatening to throw, project, place or discharge any destructive device with the intent to do bodily harm to another person, a felony. Under this law, the Department of Juvenile Justice is required to accept all juveniles charged with violating this statute.

Since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Volusia County school officials and law enforcement have urged students not to make school threats. Despite this, 22 students have been arrested by the Sheriff’s Office for disrupting schools and inciting fear.

Law enforcement is committed to keeping our community safe and will investigate every suspicious incident at schools. But Sheriff Mike Chitwood has made it clear he will punish students who continue to make threats and jokes about shootings, bombings and other acts of violence at schools. Violators will face criminal charges. And, defendants or their families will be held responsible for the cost for the Sheriff’s Office to investigate their cases.

We can’t say it enough: Parents, talk to your kids about the seriousness of making false reports at school or on social media.


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