Florida Middle Schoolers Arrested for Allegedly Planning School Shooting

Two students at Horizon Middle School in Kissimmee, Florida, have been charged with planning a mass shooting after a tip to authorities.

According to a press release from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, the investigation began when a student told other students they would be considered "safe." This, in turn, made students at the school wonder who might be unsafe.

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Authorities say a potential school shooting was thwarted Friday. Christine Kohler/Getty

Further investigation revealed that two students had conversed about carrying out an act of violence, perhaps a mass shooting, at the school. The students had created both a "safe" list and a "stab" list. While the suspected students admitted to creating the lists, they claimed they were only joking.

The students also discussed sneaking a gun into the school. A third student, who was with the other two as they discussed the potential acts, corroborated information given to detectives.

The two students were charged with making written threats to kill or conduct a mass shooting. They were booked into the Juvenile Detention Center in Orlando.

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People attend a memorial service at Pine Trails Park for the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2019 in Parkland, Florida. Joe Raedle/Getty

While school shootings are a nationwide epidemic, threats in Florida are taken seriously, especially in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland on February 14, 2018. That incident left 17 people dead and 17 injured.

This past August, two individuals were arrested in Florida after making separate threats against different schools. A student at Nova High School was arrested after a threat against the school was found on Discord.

Broward County police reported that the threat said, "I want to shoot up a school. This is a genuine feeling. I want people to suffer." The student allegedly confessed to creating and sharing the post but said he had no intention of following through.

ABC News reports that on the same day in Tampa, a 12-year-old girl was placed in custody for a threat she made on Snapchat against Burns Middle School. Authorities say the post read, "Dear bms students I will be shooting that skool up September 3 2019 be ready say your goodbyes to you're family."

That student, a seventh-grader, faces a felony charge of making a written threat to kill, do bodily injury, or conduct mass shooting or an act of terrorism.

A Florida database, that was supposed to help prevent school shootings by merging social media posts with people who have been in foster care, bullied, committed a crime or drawn the attention of law enforcement, has been delayed. Legal issues have bogged the project down. Education Week reports that privacy advocates are also concerned that data collected may be used to punish children instead of helping them.