PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – Three sixth-grade students were arrested Sunday after police say they made threats over social media.
All three of them, two boys and a girl, are Silver Trail Middle School students.READ MORE: 2 Doral Police Officers Injured In Shooting Near Miami-Dade Police Headquarters; Suspect Killed ID'd By Police
“Any statement that may be interpreted as a threat, including bomb threats, made via phone, text, or social media post, or through other means, will be acted on and there will be consequences,” says Dr. Vickie Cartwright, Broward Schools Interim Superintendent. “It is critically important for all students to understand that choosing to make a threat will result in very real consequences such as being arrested, going to trial, and/or expulsion.”
Pembroke Pines police say a school staff member contacted them about the Snapchat conversation. Officers did not release the exact wording, but say they talked about wanting to bring a gun to school and “shoot up” the sixth grade.
“Although it’s a juvenile detention and arrest, it is something that is part of their juvenile record that will be sealed down the road, but it will be visible to anybody in the justice system,” explains Attorney David Weinstein of Jones Walker LLP. “So if, unfortunately, one of these children makes a bad decision when they become adults, it’s going to be part of their prior record.”
He says this incident should serve as an example to other children. He also says it is a reminder to parents to teach children about the right and wrong ways to use social media.READ MORE: Shot Doral Police Officer In Serious But Stable Condition, Second Officer Recovering
“They will have been put through the system. They will have been arrested at a very young age, and they will have experienced something that most of us don’t want to ever have to go through,” Weinstein says. “If this send a message to other children who are thinking of doing the same thing and it makes them think twice, then, no, it wasn’t an overreaction.”
After locating the students and their families, Pembroke Pines Police and the school district’s Investigative unit determined there was no ongoing threat.
All three students are being charged with a second-degree felony for making a written threat to do bodily harm or commit an act of terrorism. The girl is facing an additional second-degree felony for conspiracy to commit a criminal offense.
Pembroke Pines police said in a statement:
“Whether written as a joke or a prank, all threats made against our schools will be taken seriously. Threats of this nature are severe offenses, and any individual who has committed such acts will be charged accordingly.”MORE NEWS: South Florida PBA Union President Steadman Stahl On Stress Of Being A Police Officer
The names of those involved have not been released.