Teen arrested, security increased after Miami-Dade school threats on social media

Threats of violence at Miami-Dade County schools have led to the arrest of a 15-year-old student and an increased police presence on some campuses, a school district spokeswoman said Monday morning.

The threats are not believed to be credible.

Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, chief communications and community engagement officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, said it appears that one student’s social media threat to Miami Senior High School was then reposted by others, affecting multiple schools.

“For the past few days, the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department has been investigating threats — mostly on social media — involving several of our schools. At this time, none appear to be credible,” Gonzalez-Diego said in a statement. “A 15-year-old student has been arrested and is being charged with a felony count of written threats to kill or do bodily harm. He is alleged to have posted a threat involving Miami High that was then altered by other individuals and reposted on social media, affecting several other schools.

“Although these incidents appear to be unfounded, in an abundance of caution, there is additional police presence at several District schools. Any act that disrupts the educational environment, depletes police resources and causes unnecessary stress on students, families and employees will result in severe consequences. The investigation is ongoing.”

According to an arrest report, the 15-year-old student at Miami High posted a message on Instagram in Spanish that translated to: “I am going to kill everyone at Miami Senior High School, do not go to school if you … don’t want to die on December 6. Everyone is going to see the anger inside of me.”

The student was arrested shortly after midnight at his home. Local 10 News is not identifying him because of his age.

The teenager appeared in juvenile court Monday morning. A public defender argued there was no proof that he posted that threat, but prosecutors said police conducted a thorough investigation, and a judge found probable cause.

The teen will remain in custody until his next hearing on Dec. 20.

Coral Reef, Palmetto and Ferguson are among the other Miami-Dade high schools where threats were reported.

“We have dealt with about 12 different threats over the past week,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, calling them “non-credible” and “hoaxes.”

“There is no need to create fear and panic in our community, so this insanity needs to stop,” Carvalho added.

Separately, G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami-Dade was on lockdown Monday morning because of a possible weapon on campus, but school officials said that threat was unfounded and that the lockdown was to be lifted.

And in Broward County, investigators said they received multiple calls Sunday about a threat against Deerfield Beach Middle School that was posted on Instagram.

“The calls featured the same screenshot Instagram post that had previously been investigated by BSO’s Threat Management Unit on Dec. 4,” the Broward Sheriff’s Office said. “The original poster, a 12-year-old female from Deerfield Beach middle, was identified and contacted, and the case is being forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for possible charges to be filed against the student.”

South Florida schools have dealt with a rising number of social media threats this year.

Last week, a 17-year-old student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland was arrested and faces three weeks in juvenile detention after threatening his school.

That threat came just one day after a student allegedly killed four classmates at a high school in Michigan.

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