2 MORE TEENS CHARGED WITH MAKING FALSE REPORTS AT MIDDLE SCHOOLS
Two 13-year-old middle school students were the latest to join a group of Volusia County students facing criminal charges after making false reports today about having firearms at school.
On Wednesday morning, Deltona Middle School’s principal reported a suspicious incident that occurred the day before during seventh-period class, when a male teen made comments that alarmed two teachers and students in the class. The teen stated, “I’m gonna get suspended after first period on the last day of school” and “I’ma bring my backpack with all my stuff in it.”
A school resource deputy interviewed two teachers and several students who confirmed they heard the teen make the comment. Two students also said he made hand motions like a gun while making what sounded like shooting sounds. While being interviewed, the teen told the deputy he was making laughing noises like a video he’s seen and that’s what led his classmates to believe he was making shooting sounds. The teen’s mother told the deputy that the family doesn’t own any firearms.
In an unrelated incident, a 13-year-old student at DeLand Middle School became upset Tuesday after being told to sit where he didn’t want to sit in class. When he moved to a different seat, the teacher told him to return to his original seat. A student then overheard the teen say he was going to shoot someone. The teen was then handed a referral to leave the class.
When students were interviewed about the incident, one said she heard him say “I have a gun in my backpack” and believed students around him were getting frightened. Based on students’ accounts, the deputy found the teen had made a threat to shoot at least one student in the class and followed the statement by imitating having a gun and pulling it out of his book bag with the intent to cause fear.
Both teens are charged with threatening to discharge a destructive device (Florida Statute 790.162), a felony.
Since the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office continues to show zero tolerance for threats and jokes about shootings, bombings and other acts of violence. Anyone who continues to make such statements may face the appropriate criminal charges. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the seriousness of making false reports at school or on social media.
Today’s incidents make the 10th and 11th cases since Feb. 16 where students face criminal charges from the VCSO after making a threat of violence at school.
Administrative offices: West Volusia 386-736-5961 Daytona Beach 386-254-4689 New Smyrna Beach 386-423-3352
Non-emergency dispatch numbers: DeLand 386-943-8276 Daytona Beach 386-239-8276 New Smyrna Beach 386-409-8276 Osteen 407-323-0151