Local

Another Manatee student threatens school shooting, cops say. Threats continue, but few are arrested

For the second time in a little more than a month, a Dr. Mona Jain Middle School student faces disciplinary action over threats of becoming a school shooter, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The district has been plagued this year with students either making threats of violence while in school or on social media accounts toward a school or other students.

According to a MCSO incident report dated Nov. 6, the middle school student was speaking with other students in his fifth period class when he said, “Everyone talks (expletive) and I will fight everyone and I’ll shoot up the school.”

The statements led to the Bradenton Police Department responding to the boy’s home to check for weapons, which none were found.

Like most incidents related to school shooting threats this year, the Manatee County School District opted to handle the incident internally when law enforcement decides not to make an arrest.

The district won’t speak publicly on individual disciplinary cases involving students other than prior comments from the district noting these kinds of incidents are taken, “very seriously.”

In September at Dr. Mona Jain Middle School, located at 12205 44th Ave. E., a student faced disciplinary action after telling another student, “not to be sad, because things could be worse. You could be on the ground, everyone around you dead, and me standing over you about to deal the final blow.”

Also in September, a student at Lakewood Ranch High School was suspended after referring to possible retaliatory actions against another student while referring to “gun play.” In that case, the mother refused to allow deputies to ensure there were no accessible weapons in the home.

A Braden River High School student was suspended, but also not charged, on Sept. 10 when she made drawings and writings referring to, “blowing up and shooting up a school.”

Also in September, a Bayshore High School student posted video on Snapchat of herself threatening another student while waving what appeared to be a gun. Because there was no arrest, deputies could only ask to search the home for weapons and the mother refused.

On Sept. 20, a 14-year-old Lincoln Memorial Academy student was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school.

On Aug. 22, a Palmetto High School student was investigated for writing social media posts indicating he would use his father’s gun to kill people.

In October, a Palmetto High School student was arrested for a Snapchat post saying, “I want to be a school shooter,” and declaring he had the means to do it.

In October, a Nolan Middle School student was arrested after allegedly rubbing two knives together and brandishing a firearm, threatening to shoot another student.

Unfortunately, it’s not a new problem and district spokesman Mike Barber has said in the past and that “vague and anonymous threats are not uncommon.”

Though several have been made this year, more than a dozen threats were made toward Manatee County schools in 2018 in the weeks and months following the the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 were killed.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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