Douglas Anderson student accused of threatening school
Police: Student claimed to be with ISIS and to have weapons for attack
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
A 14-year-old Jacksonville girl was arrested last week after investigators said she threatened to kill other students at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts.
Police said Amani Bracy made the threats and claimed to be a member of ISIS on an instant messaging app.
Bracy was taken into custody Wednesday during class. Police searched her locker and later her home and found no weapons.
“I do feel surprised. I wasn't expecting it, not from my school,” said DA sophomore Dara Lewis, who knew Bracy from school and church. “When I saw her, she wasn't really weird, but she was more so, she just seemed like a regular student. She just blended in.”
According to a police report, Bracy and another person, who was not identified, made statements on the app Kik to another student, saying they were with ISIS and that they had hacked the school board's computer servers to get personal information. Police said Bracy sent a message that she was "going to shoot up the school."
The second person warned the student not to call the police or "we gone murder u if u do."
The student reported the threats, and police were able to coax more information out of Bracy, using the instant messaging account.
Police said Bracy stated she had AK-47s and sniper rifles to carry out the attack in the senior parking lot and dance hall. Bracy also revealed her identity in one of the messages, police said.
Duval County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti said students reporting such threats is key to protecting schools and the community.
“It's a good example of students taking ownership of the kind of culture they want to see in their own neighborhood and school,” Vitti said. “Without that student coming forward and telling our officer that these threats were made, we may not had known about it.”
He said that the school will look at what happens on a criminal level with the incident and will review it through the code of conduct.
“We'll make a determination if this child is expelled or at the minimum sent to another school,” Vitti said.
Many adults said they are unfamiliar with Kik, the app Bracy used to make the threats. The app uses a smartphone or a tablet's data plan or WiFi to transmit and receive messages, photos and videos after users register a username.
Kik uses a feature that blurs messages from strangers so that users must opt in to view content sent by people outside their network. If they determine content or users are objectionable, they can delete or block them.
Kik has more than 240 million registered users and reports that 40 percent of U.S. teens are active on the app an average of 97 minutes per week.
Experts said parents who have concerns about their child's activity online should consider downloading a monitoring service app that allows them to view their child's smartphone activity.
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