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Offbeat School threats spike after Parkland shootings, and police are cracking down

01:26  08 july  2018
01:26  08 july  2018 Source:   msn.com

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CHICAGO -- After the deadly school shooting in Parkland , Fla., that left 17 people dead, copycats have threatened violence Of the local threats , police have made arrests in two thirds of the incidents and most of those kids are now being charged with felonies even if they never intended to hurt anyone.

"But this is a significant spike ." Ninety minutes after the gunman, alleged to have been Nikolas Cruz, killed students and three teachers in Parkland Since the Florida shooting , LA school authorities have received 160 calls related to a "possible criminal threat " and police recorded 19 tips about

Students place flowers on the stage outside the Pines Trail Center where a candlelight vigil will be held, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. Nikolas Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing more than a dozen people and injuring several. © Joel Auerbach/AP Photos Students place flowers on the stage outside the Pines Trail Center where a candlelight vigil will be held, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. Nikolas Cruz is accused of opening fire Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing more than a dozen people and injuring several. One student warned on social media that he planted explosives in the parking lot of his West Boca, Fla., high school.

Another made a threat on YouTube about shooting up his Coral Springs campus.

And Miami-Dade public schools at one point got up to 50 threats a day, including one that led to the arrest of a 13-year-old Miami Lakes Middle School student.

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  Parkland school shooter is typical of mass killers studied by FBI In the two years before the Parkland school shooter went on his rampage, he warned people — at least four times — what he planned to do.PARKLAND, Fla. — In the two years before the Parkland school shooter went on his rampage, he warned people — at least four times — what he planned to do.

He was arrested the day after the Parkland shooting but police were already looking into him when it happened. The Educator's School Safety Network, which tracks reports of school threats and violent incidents across the country, has documented a spike since Parkland .

A day after the Parkland shooting , a South Carolina high school freshman was charged after posting a Snapchat photo of himself holding a rifle (later Myers told HuffPost that the spike in student threats following a mass shooting suggests a dire need for mental health resources in schools .

Authorities have been scouring social media for threats against schools since the mass shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland. And when they find those responsible, they are taking them to court.

"Miami-Dade Schools Police made it clear that it will have zero tolerance for any activity that disrupts the peace of mind of our students, employees and parents," said spokesman Tony Cotarelo.

Educational leaders say each threat, even if it's suspected of being hoax, is investigated and taken seriously. After so many red flags were missed with the Parkland school shooter, officials have asked students and their parents to have a heightened sense of awareness and report all threats, even anonymously.

Cotarelo said reports from the community and a crackdown by law enforcement has significantly cut a post-Parkland wave of threats.

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14 killings of 17 people in Parkland , Florida, have ignited a wave of copycat threats , as happens after nearly every high-profile school shooting . Most prove unfounded, but cause big disruptions to schools while tying up police for hours or even days.

School threats : Here's a look at 17 we've reported on at Arizona schools since Parkland shooting . After investigating, police and school officials found most of the threats weren't viable and some were considered hoaxes.

Statistics and comparisons to threats made in previous years are not readily available, but experts say copycats since Parkland may have caused a spike.

On May 30, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies arrested an 18-year-old student at Olympic Heights High west of Boca Raton who admitted to making a threat on Snapchat.

Jose Calderon, who lives west of Delray Beach, said he was on the campus the previous morning when he "thought it would be funny" to use his iPhone to take a photo of the school parking lot and post the caption, "I've strapped c4 to every car in the student parking lot if you try to leave early it will detonate."

"I didn't think it was a big deal," Calderon said after the deputies showed up at his home.

But he was charged with "written threats to kill or do bodily injury" and "threat to throw, place project or discharge a destructive device." Each count is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.

Mitch McConnell says he doesn't think much can be done in Congress to stop school shootings

  Mitch McConnell says he doesn't think much can be done in Congress to stop school shootings After months of continued debate about the tightening of gun laws after children were gunned down killed in their school, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a crowd in Kentucky on Tuesday there was very little that Congress could do to prevent these tragedies.McConnell, talking to a group of community leaders in the central Kentucky city of Danville, said the most likely way to stop school shootings like the tragedy at a Florida high school in February that left 17 people dead is to increase school security, according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

"But this is a significant spike ." Ninety minutes after the gunman, alleged to have been Nikolas Cruz, killed students and three teachers in Parkland Since the Florida shooting , LA school authorities have received 160 calls related to a "possible criminal threat " and police recorded 19 tips about

There is always a spike after a school shooting , Klinger said, but these numbers are unusually intense. PARKLAND , FL - FEBRUARY 15: Kristi Gilroy (R), hugs a young woman at a police check point near the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed by a gunman

Calderon is free under the terms of a $50,000 bond while his case is pending.

David Puy, 19, also from West Delray, is a former student at Spanish River High in Boca Raton. He admitted to investigators he had posted a message on Snapchat that read: "On my way School shooter."

Puy said he "had no intentions of committing violence and admitted he 'wasn't thinking' when he posted it," an arrest report said.

Puy, who lives with his parents and works as a laborer for a construction company, has been ordered to remain under house arrest under the terms of a $50,000 bond while his felony case is pending.

Because both were at least 18 years old, Calderon and Puy face prosecution in adult courts. But most school threats come from juveniles, so those cases will result in lesser punishments.

For example, among the Broward incidents with reported arrests: a 15-year-old Lauderhill boy who posted on Instagram about killing people at several schools; a 17-year-old girl who threatened on Snapchat "to shoot up" Piper High in Sunrise; and an 11-year-old Nova Middle School student in Davie who wrote a threatening note to an assistant principal.

Parkland hasn't joined 26 other cities in suing for stricter gun laws

  Parkland hasn't joined 26 other cities in suing for stricter gun laws FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Parkland, where 17 people died in the Stoneman Douglas high school massacre, hasn't joined 26 other Florida cities' lawsuits that push to enact local gun control laws. Some activists say it sends the wrong message. But Parkland officials say the city has been busy tending to other important matters related to the massacre. "The reason I've been quiet about that is it happened here in Parkland, to our kids, to our residents, to our teachers. It's an extremely sensitive topic," said Parkland Commissioner Stacy Kagan. "I greatly appreciate all the other cities jumping in ...

Police were called to Northwest High School in Cedar Hill on March 7 after a student reported a classmate had opened a door and proclaimed there would be a shooting at the school . But the student in question explained to police that he had actually been showing his friend that the door was

More than two months after the shooting in Parkland , FL, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood has arrested almost 30 students for making false reports

A 17-year-old Tamarac boy was charged in April with making a threat against J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs.

According to a police report, the youth wrote, "I want to be a professional school shooter ... I'M LEGIT NOT JOKING AROUND! SPREAD MY MESSAGE!!!"

The juvenile court judge presiding over the case said he received reports that the teenager appeared to be seeking attention. The judge also warned the defendant he could be jailed for up to three years if found guilty. The case remains pending.

In a May 22 letter to students, Palm Beach Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy wrote, "I am counting on you to tell someone when you hear that there is a weapon on campus, when you might know who has threatened your school on social media or on a bathroom wall, or when someone talks, even as a joke, about hurting themselves or someone else."

Fennoy encouraged students to use a smartphone app called "StudentProtect," which enables immediate, 911-type emergency notifications to police.

Last month, a Palm Beach County Grand Jury report examining school safety issues predicted "this cellular app should make great strides in empowering students in the reporting of potential threatening or suspicious activity and, hopefully, in preventing school attacks."

But the same report quoted a security expert who found the existing "See Something, Say Something" campaign had weaknesses because students complained that "the information they provide is treated as unreliable or not important."

Witness: Florida massacre suspect made threats about school .
New documents released by Florida prosecutors show that a woman whose daughter worked with Nikolas Cruz at a discount store says he told her before the Parkland massacre that he might shoot people at the school and possibly the woman as well. The statement was one of many made public Wednesday as part of the prosecution of 19-year-old Cruz in the Valentine's Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people. Also released were more accounts of students who witnessed the attacks and statements from people who knew Cruz, including his brother Zachary.

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