A Braden River High School student was suspended from school but is not facing criminal charges after he wrote a note indicating he had an AR-15 in a duffel bag, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
On Monday, a student was captured on surveillance video footage writing, “AR-15 in duffel bag” on a support pole on the Braden River campus.
“No charges are being filed at this time,” the deputy reported.
The student was suspended for 10 days from school, according to the deputy’s report, and may be reassigned to another school.
The deputy reported making contact with the boy’s parents and that there were no firearms in the home. Deputies also have a sworn statement from another student who claimed that “AR” was already on the pole and witnessed the student add “-15 in the duffel bag” to the pole. The student told the other boy to erase it but he didn’t.
The find came as schools in Manatee County have received about a dozen threats of violence in the wake of the Valentine’s Day mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County.
A teacher at Braden River spotted the writing and brought it to the attention of a sheriff’s office deputy.
About an hour and 20 minutes after this story was posted online at Bradenton.com, Braden River High parents received an email and recorded call from Principal Sharon Scarbrough claiming the incident had been misrepresented.
“There has not been a credible or direct threat to our school and any concern that has been brought to our attention has been immediately investigated, handled at the school level and turned over to law enforcement,” Scarbrough stated in both messages. “I know these headlines and stories can cause concern and wanted to keep you informed.”
In what appears to a separate incident, a juvenile was taken into custody and involuntary hospitalized under the Baker Act in connection to a threat against the school over the weekend.
The following are other incidents that law enforcement have reported at schools in the past week:
▪ Feb. 21: A deputy was called out to Prine Elementary regarding a report of a student making threats involving a gun. Interviews with the students involved later revealed that they had been talking about how they could defend themselves in the event of a school shooting.
▪ Feb. 22: A Braden River High School student reported to school officials and the school resource officer a screenshot of a Snapchat photo showing two girls and a rifle. The girls were identified as Sarasota High School students, who were later interviewed. The photo, taken Feb. 6, was of a JROTC competition rifle in the Braden River JROTC classroom.
▪ Feb. 22: Lakewood Ranch High School Principal Craig Little received photo of student holding a BB gun that looked like a real gun, with a camouflage bandana covering the students mouth and with the words, “I’m coming.” The student, who was suspended for 10 days, said he had sent the photo to another kid the week prior. The student’s father was called into the school, but he refused to speak with deputies or allow the child’s bedroom to be searched but did say it was a BB gun in the photo.
▪ Feb. 22: A Haile Middle School student reported hearing a disturbing comment on the school bus ride to school. The comment was later deemed not to be a threat.
▪ Feb. 23: Braden River Middle school teacher was given note found by student that said, “Get Ready! School shootout in 3.2.1. Yall all dead.” The author of the notewas not identified.
▪ Feb. 28: A video circulating Bayshore High School was brought to a a deputy’s attention that showed someone holding a bag of marijuana and a gun laying on the person’s lap. The student who posted the video was identified and told deputies it was his brother, who has a concealed weapon’s permit, in the picture and that he had been stupid for even posting it.
▪ Feb. 28: Horizon’s Academy student was overheard by a teacher saying, “It’s gunna be another Parkland up in here.” The student was sent to the school resource officer’s office and explained that he had been explaining how he was expelled from Braden River for threatening to stab another student with a pencil, and had said, “My home school doesn’t want me back because they think it’s going to be another Parkland.” It was later learned, that the comment referred to a school district meeting that occurred the night before in which district officials said they didn’t think he should go back to regular school because they want a Parkland to happen in their district.