HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Hollywood police arrested a 15-year-old student from South Broward High School on Sunday night after they say he made threats to “shoot up a school” on social media.
The threat of violence kept some students from coming to class Monday.
A photo on Snapchat showed a masked student holding what appeared to be a weapon. The photo contained text that read “bouta shoot up a school.”
According to police, the student admitted sending the photo to some of his friends who also attend South Broward, saying it was a joke and not meant to be taken seriously. The student gave what he said to be a plastic cap gun to officers.
The student — whom Local 10 is not identifying because of his age — was taken into custody on the offense of written/electronic threats to kill. South Broward’s school resource officer had notified Hollywood police about the social media post after students alerted authorities about it.
The teenager appeared before a judge in virtual juvenile court Monday. South Broward High School has suspended him, and he could be expelled. He will be detained for 21 days.
The teen’s father spoke to Local 10 News on Monday afternoon, saying he gave the boy a talking to.
“It sounds like a typical kids thing, however ... people take that serious,” the father said. “You can’t say bomb on an airplane. It’s a different world.”
The threat had parents and students frightened heading into the new school week.
“I’m scared. I didn’t want to send my child to school,” one parent told Local 10 News reporter Saira Anwer on Monday morning.
Anwer spoke to parents and students outside South Broward High at drop-off time.
“Someone text my daughter’s phone and my son that there’s a child threatening to shoot up the school,” one parent said.
“Two weeks, a month into school and this is already happening,” a student added.
Broward County Public Schools issued a recorded message to families Sunday night, saying in part:
“We are aware of a threat that was circulating on social media. This was brought to our attention this evening by numerous responsible students. We immediately reported to Hollywood Police who then responded swiftly to address the situation.
“Please know the situation is secure by Hollywood Police and it is safe to return to school.”
“I felt like running back and grabbing them,” one parent said. “It’s happening so much.”
A student told Anwer, however, that she felt safe and that authorities had the situation under control.
Hollywood police ask that anyone who has information about this case contact them at 954-764-4357 or 954-967-4567. Tipsters can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or reported to Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.