Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
The Sheriff’s Office has been investigating the unfounded Instagram rumor highlighted in a VCSO news release sent earlier today (see below). As a result of that investigation, the student whose post was reported is facing a misdemeanor charge of disruption of a school function.
The post read: “On Monday February 26th, Their Is a Possible Shooting At Galaxy Middle School in Deltona Flordia, Cops Telling Everyione Stay Home On This Day!!!! Please We don't Want to See a Shooting Like parkland county in Flordia. We Also Heard Galaxy middle Has Kids "Joking" About shooting Up the School, Those could Be our possible victims. PLEASE NOBODY IN DELTONA FL IN GALAXY MIDDLE DO NOT GO TO SCHOOL MONDAY!!!"
While it has not been officially determined if the defendant, a 13-year-old female student at Galaxy Middle School, was the post’s original author, her act of sharing the message resulted in significant student absences, altered normal school functions and consumed investigative resources of the Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to the criminal charge, the Sheriff’s Office is preparing an affidavit for the cost of the investigation.
Individuals who share social media posts about potential threats instead of reporting them directly to law enforcement cause potential disruptions at schools, and, as evidenced by this case, may face criminal charges. If found guilty, those individuals may also be held responsible for the entire cost of the law enforcement investigation.
YET ANOTHER VOLUSIA STUDENT CHARGED WITH MAKING SHOOTING THREAT AT SCHOOL
A 13-year-old student at Galaxy Middle School became the sixth student since Feb. 16 to face criminal charges from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office after making a threat of violence at school.
A school resource deputy responded at Galaxy this morning after the student, who was angry at his teacher, stood up and stated: “I am going to bring out my Glock and shoot everyone.” The student made gestures with his hands as if he was holding a firearm and made shooting sound effects as he pointed the imaginary weapon at his classmates.
The student told the deputy he was joking and has no access to any weapons. He was charged with making a false report concerning the use of a firearm (F.S.S. 790.164), a felony, and disruption of a school function, a misdemeanor.
Unrelated to the student’s statement in the classroom, the Sheriff’s Office provided an increased presence at Galaxy this morning due to a social media post reported over the weekend. The post referenced rumors of a shooting threat and claimed law enforcement had warned students to stay home from school on Monday. This was false.
As has been repeatedly stated in the days following the tragic 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 regarding shootings, bombings and other acts of violence. Those who continue to make such statements may face the appropriate criminal charges.
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