MANATEE -- After Lakewood Ranch High School was put on lockdown Friday because of a vague threat of violence -- making it the ninth threat against a Manatee County school in the past month -- Superintendent Diana Greene sent a message to all middle and high school parents Friday evening, saying the district will not tolerate such threats.
"It is becoming obvious that the point of most of these threats is to disrupt our schools and interrupt the educational process," Greene said in the call to parents. "That kind of behavior will not be tolerated. We will work diligently with law enforcement to find those responsible for threats of violence against our schools and those individuals will be subject to criminal charges."
Greene's call went out in both English and Spanish.
An anonymous male called Lakewood Ranch High School with a vague threat of violence around 11:30 a.m. Friday. The school was put on lockdown while law enforcement flooded the area. The school was searched and nothing out of the ordinary was found. Students were dismissed on time with a heavy policy presence, according to officials.
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"The number was blocked and the call was not recorded. The school was searched but nothing out of the ordinary has been found," Manatee sheriff's spokesman Dave Bristow said in a statement. "Extra deputies will be on patrol today at the school."
The school district has dealt with an increasing number of unfounded or vague threats since the start of the year. All nine of the threats since Jan. 26 have been aimed at middle and high schools. All were deemed to be not credible, district spokesman Mike Barber said.
Here's a rundown of the threats:
On Jan. 26, Lincoln Middle School officials became aware of a vague online threat and called parents that night and the following morning. Ultimately, the threat was not found to be aimed at the Palmetto school, but was from somewhere else in the country.
Two days later, on Jan. 28, Manatee High School was also the subject of a vague online threat. Parents were called mid-afternoon and security was increased for the remainder of the school day. As with Lincoln, the threat was not aimed specifically at Manatee High School.
On Feb. 5, a student at Buffalo Creek Middle School reported overhearing information about a potential threat. Parents were called that evening and during the course of the weekend, law enforcement was able to deem the threat not credible.
On Feb. 10, officials began investigating a threat at Lakewood Ranch High School, where a student reported overhearing a potential threat. Parents were called in the evening to alert them. Over the evening, an investigation revealed the threat was not credible. Parents were called again in the morning and there was an increase in police presence on campus.
On Feb. 11, an online threat was reported against Johnson Middle School. The threat was found to be aimed at the school, but was deemed not credible.
On Tuesday, Feb. 23, a note was found in the boys' restroom that included a threat of violence at Manatee High. The threat was found to be aimed at the school, but was deemed not credible.
Also on Tuesday, a note was found in one of the boys' restrooms at Buffalo Creek Middle School. The threat was found to be aimed at the school, but was deemed not credible.
On Thursday, Feb. 25, there was an unfounded report of a threat of violence at Braden River High School.
On Feb. 26, a call was made around 11:30 a.m. by a male to Lakewood Ranch High School. The school went immediately into hard lockdown, then a soft lockdown. School was dismissed as usual, with extra police presence.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter@MeghinDelaney.