PARKLAND, Fla. – A 17-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas student appeared in juvenile court Friday, a day after his arrest over an alleged social media threat against the Parkland high school.
Oliver Manik has been suspended from school for 10 days, with expulsion recommended. He is also expected to be held in a juvenile detention center until Dec. 24.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said Manik made the threat this week against the school where 17 people were murdered in February 2018.
Investigators say the threat in a social media chat room was reported around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Manik was arrested at his home Thursday morning and faces a charge of writing threats to conduct a mass shooting.
The threat came one day after a student allegedly killed four classmates in Michigan.
“I feel like school shooting tmrw (tomorrow). When I sneeze it’s a signal go to the bathroom OK. I hope y’all aren’t snitches,” the message said, according to a probable cause affidavit.
A Broward Juvenile Delinquency Division judge found probable cause for the arrest Friday. Manik, a first-time offender, is expected back in court for a status hearing next week.
MSD Principal Michelle Kefford notified parents of the threat Thursday morning with a robocall, saying in part:
“I also want to remind all students and families how seriously any and all threats are taken. Parents, please speak with your children to remind them that any threat — even if they think it is a joke — will result in serious consequences. In Florida, a threat made against a school is a second-degree felony. Students also face school disciplinary measures as outlined in the Code Book for Student Conduct, including expulsion.”
Students say threats like these are concerning and a distraction.
“You can’t concentrate at school because you’re scared for your life, so it’s concerning,” one told Local 10 News. “It’s happened one time before. I was in middle school at the time, and I was scared to come to school today.”
Another student said he thought the arrest was necessary.
“I think that’s what needed to be done to show that you can’t joke about that, that stuff has consequences.”
Tony Montalto, president of Stand With Parkland, the group that represents the families whose relatives died in the 2018 shooting, said the threat “further proves the need for timely investigation and notification to parents regarding threats to schools.”
“In the wake of the Michigan shootings this week and this incident ... I urge our elected leaders at all levels of government to commit to a renewed focus on the safety of students and staff,” Montalto said.