Lakewood Ranch High School student suspended after ‘gun play’ comments on Snapchat

A Lakewood Ranch High School student has been suspended and is being referred to the Manatee County School District for off-campus reassignment after he made gun-related comments on his Snapchat account, according to a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office incident report.

According to the report, the student posted two gun emojis with the comment, that in part reads, “try to play gun play lol I’m so dead he not ready for that smoke at all.”

Deputies determined the comments did not rise to the level of a crime, but they did ask the student’s mother for permission to search his room for any weapons. She declined, according to the report.

“If you sent a deputy, make sure he has a search warrant,” the woman said, according to the report.

While law enforcement took no further action, the school district suspended the student for 10 days while his reassignment is processed.

“Obviously, we can’t speak to a specific student situation,” said district spokesman Mike Barber. “But any threat against a school or student, or any threat against the district is taken extremely seriously. We work really closely with law enforcement and take every alleged and potential threat extremely seriously.”

Another student reported his classmate’s comment to a dean on Aug. 28. The incident report was not available until Tuesday.

Barber said he could not discuss the current status of the student because of confidentiality requirements.

“(Law enforcement) investigates every threat and anyone making a threat faces a serious legal consequence, as well as district consequences,” Barber said.

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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