DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – Deputies identified a 12-year-old girl who they say was responsible for a threat on Instagram about a shooting at Deerfield Beach Middle School.
Detectives with the Broward Sheriff’s Office threat management unit were able to associate a threatening post on Instagram with the girl and turned over their case to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.
“Prosecutors take these incidents very seriously because they create a lot of disruption and fear for kids, parents, and staff,” a spokesperson for SAO said in a statement on Monday.
Deputies and prosecutors said they have been handling an increase in threats of violence at public schools in Broward County.
Last week, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre took place, was arrested after allegedly making threats in a chat room.
Broward Circuit Judge Elijah Williams had a reminder for students: “Your actions can carry a lifetime of consequences.”
In Miami-Dade County, officers reported a 15-year-old student wrote a threat on Instagram about a shooting on Monday at Miami Senior High School, and a second student was arrested for a threat at Northwestern Senior High School.
Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said there have been 12 different threats at Miami-Dade schools over the past week.
The rise in threats at schools in South Florida comes after Ethan Crumble, 15, used a pistol to kill four students and wound six others and a teacher last Tuesday at his high school in Oxford Township, Michigan.
Ethan is facing murder and terrorism charges as an adult. His parents Jennifer and James Crumbley are facing involuntary manslaughter charges.
BCPS complete statement:
Today and over the past several days, there have been social media threats reported involving schools across the District. Every threat is taken seriously and investigated in collaboration with law enforcement and the District’s Special Investigative Unit.
Parents and guardians are asked to remind students that making a threat against a school will result in serious consequences. In Florida, it is a second-degree felony. Students also face school disciplinary measures as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct, including expulsion.
School safety is all of our responsibility. Everyone is encouraged that If you see something – say something. Making a threat will result in serious consequences, even if the student thinks it’s a joke.