Laura Williams, Office of Media Relations & Public Affairs
MALE, 13, CHARGED WITH THREAT TO SHOOT CLASSMATE AT HOLLY HILL K-8 SCHOOL
In the latest reminder that Volusia County authorities aren’t joking when someone makes a gun threat at school, a 13-year-old male student at Holly Hill School K-8 was arrested Wednesday and charged with threatening to shoot a classmate.
The incident occurred Tuesday but was reported Wednesday morning to a sheriff’s School Resource Deputy. The teacher had written a referral saying the student had “threatened to ‘shoot’ Sara if she wrote his name on something. He has continued to yell out inappropriate words and noises in class despite several verbal warnings in the past.”
The student was arrested and charged with threatening to discharge a destructive device (Florida Statutes 790.162), a felony. He was transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice on Wednesday afternoon.
He is the 29th student charged by the VCSO since the Feb. 14 massacre in Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were shot and killed at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.
Since that tragedy, Volusia County students have been repeatedly warned that Sheriff Mike Chitwood and School Superintendent Tom Russell are serious about anyone who makes threats about guns at school or on social media. Despite warnings, students have continued to make threats, inciting fear at school. The sheriff is also requiring defendants or their families to repay the Sheriff’s Office for the cost of investigating and prosecuting each school threat incident – at least $1,032.
“I don’t know what else to do,” Sheriff Chitwood said. “Parents, you wouldn’t allow your kids to stand up in a movie theater and yell ‘FIRE!’ Or fly on an airplane at 30,000 feet and yell ‘HIJACK!’ Why is this OK?
“It’s not OK and we will continue to hold students, and parents, accountable.”