Crime

‘You should be afraid.’ Students report classmate’s comments about shootings, cops say

For the third time in this month alone, a Manatee County School District student is facing disciplinary action after making implied threats about committing mass violence at a school.

According to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office incident report, a student at Dr. Mona Jain Middle School told another student on Sept. 13, “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.”

Deputies say other children reported that the student has been talking a lot about violence and shooting. Other students asked him if hunts and where, and the student said “schools ... be careful ... you should be afraid,” according to the report.

Deputies received permission from the parents to search the home to determine if the student had access to any weapons and found none, the report states.

“The incident did not rise to the level of a crime ... and the school handled the incident administratively,” the report states.

On Sept. 10, a Lakewood Ranch High School student was suspended, but not charged, for posting comments about “gun play” on his Snapchat account.

And on Sept. 11, a student at Braden River High School was suspended, but not charged, when she, “began to draw and write about blowing up and shooting up a school.”

There have been other incidents since the school year began.

In August, a Palmetto High School student was investigated for some disturbing and “dark” comments on social media. His comments prompted a large police presence at the school, but there were no charges filed and the school was never placed on lockdown.

In January of this year, a Bayshore High School student was arrested after making threatening statements about himself as being a prospective school shooter.

In March, a Bayshore High School student was arrested after writing a threatening note, implying a shooting at school was imminent.

As a matter of policy, the school district does not comment on individual disciplinary cases involving students.

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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