15 Students Have Been Arrested for Threatening School Violence since Parkland Shooting, Officials Say

Four students in Volusia County, Florida were arrested on Thursday after sending violent threats to their schools. A total of 15 people have been arrested since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

On February 16, a 14-year-old boy at Creekside Middle School allegedly said that he would be the next school shooter. The incident was not reported until Thursday, according to authorities.

A female student at Deltona High School made a gun gesture with her hands and said: “Bang Bang” to two school employees. In that same school, another teacher found a gun in a 15-year-old’s backpack, but no one was injured.

The last reported incident involved a student at New Smyrna Beach High School, who reportedly drew a gun on a piece of paper and pointed it at another student, pretending to shoot him. All of the students involved were charged with the second-degree felony of threat to discharge a destructive device.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said they would force the teenagers and their families to hand over $1,000 or more in fees.

“These kids must think we are joking like they always claim to be,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood tweeted on Thursday. “We aren't. It stops being funny fast when you get locked up and end up owing us $1K or more.”

Since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, there has been an average of 70 school threats per day recorded in the United States, according to the Educator’s School Safety Network. The organization found that Florida has recorded 31 incidents in the week after the shooting, which is the most out of any other state in the U.S.

“Our research indicates that the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is the latest of 81 school-based violent incidents and threats that have occurred in Florida just this school year,” a statement on the network’s website said. “Of the 81 threats and incidents that have occurred in Florida this school year, 29 have happened in January and the first half of February alone.”

The network also listed its top five states of concern, with California at the top of the list due to a 62.5 percent increase in school threats since 2016. Next follows Pennsylvania with a 14.7 percent increase, New York with a 33.3 percent increase and Florida with a 3.3 percent decrease. Illinois rounded out the list with a 44 percent increase in violent threats.