Students' threats of violence are part of 'alarming trend,' Broward superintendent says

Officials warn law on students' threats applies to jokes, serious threats

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Students who express a desire to hurt others at their schools are now getting arrested in accordance with a new state law that passed after the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. 

Four students, ages 9 to 16, were arrested this week, and three of them alleged they were reacting to bullying. 

Broward Schools' Superintendent Robert Runcie warned on Tuesday that authorities were responding to an "alarming trend" of children who are making threats without thinking about the consequences since the law "does not differentiate between a joke, a prank or a serious threat." 

Runcie issued the statement after a 9-year-old Lauderhill Paul Turner Elementary School student was accused of pointing his father's loaded gun at other students. He is facing charges of possession of a firearm on school property and three counts of aggravated assault. 

Pembroke Pines Police Department officers arrested a 13-year-old Silver Trail Middle School student who allegedly said, "I know why people shoot up schools. I wish I could do it right now."

Pembroke Pines officers arrested a 14-year-old Franklin Academy student who altered the photo of a friend who was holding an Airsoft pellet rifle and shared it on Instagram with a message: "See You Monday." and "GN Franklin."

Miramar Police Department officers arrested a 16-year-old Everglades High School student who made a verbal threat to "shoot up" his school. He is a special needs student who told authorities he was experiencing regular bullying. 


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