Anonymous Threats Put Schools On Edge After Mass Shooting

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland has caused increased awareness and tension at schools across South Florida.

A number of schools have instituted lockdowns or Code Yellow alerts after receiving anonymous threats.

On Friday, a 13-year-old student was arrested for posting a threat on social media against Miami Lakes Middle School, according to sources.

“This individual posted on social media that he wanted to carry out similar acts as we saw in Broward County,“ said Miami-Dade schools Police Chief Ian Moffett.

At an afternoon news conference Miami Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said those making threats will be hunted down and vigorously prosecuted.

Under state law, it is a second-degree felony to post a threat to kill or do bodily harm to another person.

“They constitute a felony. So it could lead to imprisonment. It could lead to a permanent record on a young man or young woman’s life,“ Carvalho said.

At Jorge Mas Canosa Middle School in southwest Miami-Dade, hundreds of parents showed up a the school to pick up their children when they learned that a threat had been made against it on Instagram Thursday night.

Some parents who spoke to CBS4 said they received no information from the school, whether in an email or blast text, as to the validity of the threat.

“There was a threat, apparently, I don’t know, I just spoke to my daughter and she told me that parents are picking up their kids just in case,” said Angela Gaud who went to the school to get her daughter.

After Wednesday’s deadly shooting in Broward, many parents and students are on edge, wondering if something like that could happen at their school.

“My daughter text me and told me that there is a shooting threat at the school,” said concerned parent Randolph Scott Pepke Jr. who went to Jorge Mas Canosa Middle to get his daughter.

The threat on Instagram, which was posted at 9:01 p.m. Thursday was a single line of text which read “I’m coming for you”

Moffett said the threat is being investigated as directed against the middle school.

Students coming out of the school said they knew what it meant.

“Someone sent a threat to our school saying they were gonna shoot our school,” said one girl.

“And then everybody started freaking out,” said her friend.

Threats made on social media have plagued more than a dozen schools across the region.

A scene similar to Jorge Mas Canosa played out Friday morning at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High which was also the subject of a threat. Parents there also lined up to take their children home.

Hialeah High was also on alert after someone reported a suspicious person near the campus with a gun. Police checked it out and couldn’t find anyone.

In Broward, two girls accused of making threats against schools were in juvenile court. Both were sentenced to 21 days of home detention. During that time, no electronics and they have to stay off social media.

Police in South Carolina charged a high school freshman with posting threats against multiple Broward schools.  Investigators say he told them it “was a joke.”

Miami-Dade and Broward County public school systems have said they are doing everything they can to make their schools safe and keep parents informed of any possible threats.

Moffett said parents need to take ownership of their children’s on line activity, be aware of what their kids are reading and writing on the web.

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