Following the incident at a Florida high school in March when 17 people were wounded, and 17 others were killed, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act became law. Under this legislation, incidents in which people threaten schools with violence are regarded as second-degree felonies. When students make such threats, they could be charged with juvenile crimes.
Following an anonymous tip to a school resource officer in another county, police arrested a 12-year-old girl on a recent Monday. Reportedly, she admitted to posting a threatening message on Snapchat, warning students to stay away from the school the following day because she planned to shoot someone. Police say the girl claimed that it was an idle threat posted out of frustration because she was bullied at school.
Concern about this trend grows as a spokesperson for a school district in another county reported at least 12 such incidents have been reported so far during the current school year. Reportedly, four students were arrested for similar threats during one week last month, two of whom blamed bullying for their actions. An alarming case reported by police involved a 9-year-old who aimed a loaded pistol a three of his classmates — also blaming bullies.
Parents in Florida who receive calls informing them that their children have been arrested for juvenile crimes might be caught unawares regarding the bullying or other emotional suffering of their children. Such circumstances are traumatic for the parents and the children, and the best steps would be to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can do whatever is possible to obtain the most favorable outcome for all.