GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – Parents of students at Clay High School are upset after learning a student brought a "shoot list" to school Thursday morning.
The boy, whose name and age were not released, did not have a weapon and told investigators it was a joke. He was arrested and will also face discipline for violating Clay County schools' code of conduct.
By mid-morning, parents got an automated call from the principal. Many of them showed up to pull their children out of the school despite assurances that the student was in custody.
"This happened a couple years ago in Keystone, as well, and I don’t trust it," parent Desiree Milleston said. "I don’t care how quickly they say they got the kid (and) said it was a joke. I don’t play with that kind of stuff."
The woman whose daughter was a freshman at the school was confused because they didn't get a lot of information.
"So it’s like they keeping us the parents out of the loop," said the mother, who didn't want her name used. "They were just having fun and I was, like, panicking. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m hearing two different stories."
Some students were unfazed.
"It’s going around the school, but staff here is doing a good job keeping it low -- not letting us freak out," student Marquez Delafield said.
Students who know the teenager arrested said he's never been in trouble before.
"They’re trying to get attention then," Milleson said. "I don’t know, but I still don’t trust it. I’m thinking about homeschooling because this happens too much."
A "shoot list" was also found at a Port St. Lucie school on Thursday, which was 18 years to the day after 13 people were killed in a shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
School administrators encouraged parents to talk to their children about the discovery and to emphasize their role in keeping the campus safe. Parents were also encouraged to monitor their child’s belongings that are carried to school.
Superintendent Addison Davis released a statement about the incident:
The Clay County School District was reminded today of the character of its student body. While it is inevitable that incidents will happen, we are very proud of the fact that it was a student who alerted adults when confronted with a potentially dangerous situation. It is clear that we have created a positive culture in our schools where students feel comfortable communicating openly with staff. This is the type of climate the Clay County School District has cultivated and supports, highlighting that it is one of the safest school districts in the state of Florida. The district will continue to encourage students to speak up as this provides a pathway to collective problem solving and elevating the instructional culture. We will collectively work with students, families, and caregivers to ensure Clay County School District provides a safe and instructionally sound experience."