14-year-old charged with making threats at St. Augustine High
Teen reports finding written threat, later confess he wrote it, deputies say
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A 14-year-old St. Augustine High School student is facing charges after deputies said he twice made threats toward the school since the Valentine's Day mass shooting in Parkland.
The student, whose name has not been released, is charged with false reporting of a bomb threat and for threatening to use a firearm in a violent manner.
Deputies said the charges are from two separate incidents in which the student wrote threats on walls at the high school.
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The first threat was written days after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Deputies said the student wrote, "School Shooting Happening at ___ PM Today."
Law enforcement and school officials responded to make sure the campus was safe, deputies said.
The second threat was reported Wednesday -- by the student himself, deputies said.
According to investigators, the student wrote "Bomb on Campus" on a bathroom wall, and then reported finding the threat.
The school was placed on lockdown as investigators followed protocols to make sure no explosive device was on campus.
When he was questioned in front of his parent and confronted with physical evidence and surveillance video, the student admitted he was the one who scrawled the threat, deputies said.
They said he also confessed to writing the earlier threat about a school shooting.
The student is now in the custody of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, deputies said. He could face a maximum of 15 years in prison for each felony charge.
On Tuesday, students at Bartram Trail High School were evacuated and dismissed early after a bomb threat was found scribbled on a bathroom wall.
St. John's County Sheriff's Office spokesman Chuck Mulligan said all school threats are investigated as credible threats.
"What we would ask is that parents have serious conversations with their students about the consequences of this and the magnitude of what the students and faculty and parents in Parkland are going through, because for them it's all too real, and we never want to make light of that," Mulligan said.
The St. Augustine High student is at least the 10th person charged with making school threats in Northeast Florida since the Parkland shooting. The others include three students and one adult arrested in relation to threats made against schools in Clay County.
Parents said they're fed up with the threats.
"I think it's pretty sad. We just need to look out for our kids a little better and talk to them," St. Augustine High parent Stacey Locke said.
Grandparent Joan Turner agreed that changing students' behavior starts with their families.
"Parents need to definitely be involved," Turner said. "There needs to be a partnership between the school and the home."
Below is a recap of the previous incidents:
- A 15-year-old student at Putnam EDGE Charter High School was arrested Feb. 16 after taking a threatening social media post that originated in South Carolina and reposting it as a threat to Palatka High School, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office said.
- A 15-year-old freshman at Oakleaf High School was arrested Feb. 23 in connection with a series of social media threats about a potential shooting at the school, Clay County deputies said.
- The same day, an Oakleaf Junior High School student was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor count relating to a threat to the school that was posted on social media.
- A 21-year-old former Ribault student was arrested Feb. 28 and charged with making threats on social media in two separate cases involving a dozen Duval County schools, police said.
- A 15-year-old student was arrested in March after Clay County deputies said he was seen on surveillance video writing a threat on the ceiling of a restroom at Keystone Heights Junior/Senior High School.
- A 14-year-old Matanzas High School student was charged with a felony after several classmates heard him say he would “shoot up the school,” as he was struggling during a math class, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said.
- Clay County deputies on March 11 arrested a man who they said left a threatening note on the front door of Fleming Island High School on a Sunday.
- A Camden County High School student was charged with making a terroristic threat and disrupting school after school officials said he lit a firecracker in a hallway on March 14.
- A woman was arrested March 16 after posting a threat on Facebook aimed at Yulee Elementary School, the Nassau County Sheriff's Office said.
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