Number of Volusia County students facing felony charges for school threats increases

VCSO has arrested more than 20 students since the Parkland shooting.

Photo by Paige Wilson
Photo by Paige Wilson
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Despite Volusia County school officials and law enforcement officers urging students to not make school threats, even joking about them, 22 students have been arrested for this reason since the Parkland shooting on Feb. 14. All of them are facing felony charges.

On Monday, April 9, Volusia County deputies arrested the 21st and 22nd students who made school threats. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office reports one of them, a 13-year-old from New Smyrna Beach Middle School, came up to a teacher and said: "I am going to shoot up the school." The boy then shook a box of Tic Tac to imitate gunshot sounds, and walked up to another student and said he would shoot them. 

VCSO reports the student later advised he "was only joking around and was being sarcastic.” He also said one of his family members has numerous guns, including a shotgun and rifle that are accessible. 

The other boy arrested on Monday is an 11-year-old student from Holly Hill Middle School. His teacher reported the student used his arm to resemble cocking a shotgun, pointed his arm at the teacher  as if he were loading the gun and said: "Bang, bang." Aside from the felony charge, he also faces suspension pending expulsion from the school.

The students were arrested and charged under Florida Statute 790.162, VCSO reported. The law identifies "threatening to throw, project, place or discharge any destructive device with the intent to do bodily harm to another person" as a felony. 

"We can’t say it enough," a VCSO press release read. "Parents, talk to your kids about the seriousness of making false reports at school or on social media.

There have been zero calls so far regarding students making gun threats in Ormond Beach since the Parkland shooting, said Public Information Officer Keith Walker. In Port Orange, VCSO arrested a 14-year-old Creekside Middle School student on March 1 after he said he would become the next school shooter. That student is among the 22 facing felony charges.


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