BRANDON, Fla. (WFLA) – A 12-year-old middle school student has been arrested after deputies say she posted a school shooting threat on a social media app.
According a school official, just before noon Thursday, a Barrington Middle School student alerted a secretary about a Snapchat post mentioning a school threat. The secretary told the assistant principal, who then told the school resource officer.
They learned the Snapchat was posted by a 7th-grade student at Burns Middle School in Brandon. The post allegedly referenced an intention to carry out a school shooting.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, it read, “Dear bms students I will be shooting that skool [sic] up September 3 2019 be ready say your goodbyes to you’re [sic] family because that is finel [sic]…Goodluck (; be ready.”
The school resource deputy at Burns Middle School was notified and spoke with the student. Deputies say the girl admitted to sending and later deleted the Snapchat.
The 12-year-old girl is now facing a felony charge of making a written threat.
The sheriff’s office is in the process of doing a post-secondary investigation that includes going to the girl’s home, talking with her parents and seeing if she had access to firearms.
“The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office takes all school threats – verbal,
written or posted to social media – very seriously,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “We have a zero-tolerance policy. It is important for parents to know what their children are posting online. If you make a school threat of any kind, you will be arrested and charged accordingly.”
The sheriff also spoke with 8 On Your Side following the student’s arrest.
He commended the student who came forward.
“There’s no doubt because of his actions and the quick response by the deputy working at Barrington Middle School and Burns Middle School, this threat was tracked down as quickly as it was to ensure that we reduced the likelihood that any type of threat like this can ever happen at one of our schools,” Sheriff Chronister said.
He made a plea to all parents.
“I would beg parents, mom, dad, it’s your time to be parents. Don’t worry about your kids being upset because you violated, or they feel that you violated, their privacy,” he said. “Know who your kids are talking with on social media. More importantly, know who your children (are), and what they’re posting on social media at all times.”