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DAVIE (CBSMiami) – A 12-year-old girl was arrested following a social media threat directed at two schools in Davie.
Students arriving at Nova Middle School and Nova High School may have noticed additional police officers on campus. Earlier in the morning, Davie police tweeted out that a threat had been made against the schools and person had been taken into custody.
Re the social media threat posted on 10/14 directed at #NovaHighSchool & #NovaMiddleSchool, #DaviePolice detectives have investigated & taken a suspect into custody. There is believed to be no further threat & students are safe to return to campus where officers will be present.
— Davie Police Dept. (@DaviePolice) October 15, 2018
According to her arrest report, the girl posted nearly a dozen threatening messages against the schools on Instagram.
In one she wrote, “Shooting up the school tm F*** nova all them teachers can die that’s why I got a gun to kill yall #novamiddleschool.”
In another, she wrote, “Nova getting they s*** messed up and nova high school shooting Mr. Jones up.”
One picture on the account showed a picture of five guns with the caption, “LOOK AT MY GUNS!.”
Davie police traced the Instagram account to a cell phone that uses T-Mobile. The carrier provided the police with information on the account.
Investigators when to listed address and spoke with the girl who owns the phone. At first, she denied posting the threats. She later admitted to doing so, telling the police that it was a prank and she was “put up to posting the messages.”
Students at the Nova High said threats against a school are more than just a prank.
“It makes me nervous to come to school. It makes me not want to come to school,” says sophomore Emma Caccamo. “I don’t like how it’s affecting our school life.”
Jensey Melo, a junior, saw the threat circulating on Snapchat and Instagram last night, which he says involved a picture of multiple guns. He says he knows friends who opted not to come to school because of it. Since officers arrested someone, Melo says he felt better about going to class.
“At first, I think, it was actually a security threat,” he explains. “Now, I think students are just doing it to gain popularity and just to seem cool.”
In court, the judge ordered the 12-year-old to be held in home detention, with a strict order to stay away from social media.
When asked about a motive in all this, the student’s public defender suggested she was bullied.
“There are allegations of bullying that we will be looking into regarding what the school board may have done or not have done up to this point,” said Kory Hill, Public Defender.
A week ago, Davie police responded to another threat at the same schools after a student called the front office and said there would be a shooting.
The schools went on Code Red until police were able to determine that the threat was not credible. Police determined that the threat came from a 15-year-old freshman who they said had intellectual disabilities. The case has been sent to the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
“You have enough trouble trying to get your child an education and go to work and do the daily activities you need to do,” says the mother of an 11-year-old Nova Middle school student. “I don’t like that the kids are maybe worried to go to school or the teachers are maybe scared to be teaching.”
Broward schools said these threats are considered a second-degree felony.
“Whether a student gonna say it’s a prank or it wasn’t them, it’s not a joke, we’re not taking it as a joke, we’re taking it very serious and we’ll do everything in our power to find who’s doing this and stop the threat, said Det. Vivian Gallinal-Davie police department.
Maria Schneider is the Assistant State Attorney in Charge of the Broward’s Juvenile Unit. She said since the Parkland shootings on Valentine’s Day, they’ve had more than 90 of these threat cases. That’s up from 82 cases all of last year. She believes there are several reasons why.
“Every time you have something terrible like this happen you have a slew of copycats,” she explained.
Plus, Schneider said after Parkland there’s more focus on these cases, the laws have been strengthened and police are doing more rigorous investigations. She said these types of threats cannot be ignored.
“There’s no way to know who’s just joking or who’s calling out for attention and who could be a real, serious threat to everyone else’s safety,” Schneider said.
Schneider believes parents and students need to be warned of the repercussions of online threats.
“Law enforcement is out there looking for these things,” she said. “People who see these things are going to report them to law enforcement. They’re going to be investigated and taken seriously.”
And these are not victimless crimes, she said. School employees, parents and students are left terrified and traumatized by threats of violence and first responders spend time and money investigating these phony threats.
“It costs a lot of money that should have been spent doing things that actually insure the safety of the community,” she explained.