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Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A.
Available 24/7 305-985-6640

Bomb or Shooting Threats to Schools

school threats

In recent years there have been many arrests of students for making bomb threats, often against their schools. The threats are typically made on social media accounts, so tracking down the person who posted the threat is easy for law enforcement.

The FBI, Homeland Security, other state, and federal law enforcement agencies as well as local police routinely monitor social media with the assistance of sophisticated software to help them identify potential threats.

As soon as a threat is detected, the police are notified, especially when the threat identifies a particular target accompanied by a date and time. When schools are targeted, school police or “school resource officers” are immediately notified so they can take the alleged offender into custody without delay. Search warrants are often obtained to search the suspect’s car, personal property, computer, phone, and home to look for possible additional evidence.

Students who make threats are arrested as soon as possible and are often read their Miranda Rights without the presence of a parent or guardian. The students then often make admissions or confess.

Bomb threats are almost always felonies, whether charged in juvenile or adult court.

In Florida, it is a second-degree felony for a person to possess, deliver, send, mail, display, use, threaten to use, attempt to use, or conspire to use, or who make readily accessible to others a hoax bomb. (Florida Statute 790.165).

In my experience and that of colleagues, prosecutors, and judges, most of these threats are made by kids who are troubled, who seek attention, or do it to impress other kids. Often, soon after the threat is posted, it is taken down. What is often not understood is that online posts can rarely if ever be fully deleted. Arrests frequently happen after a post is removed. Many times, the student is found to be a drug abuser or to be under psychological or psychiatric care. Anyone who makes such threats must understand that doing so is not considered a prank; it’s no joking matter and it will involve court’s intervention.

The police cannot know which threats may result in actual violence, so they take every threat seriously.

It is very important to have clear and candid discussions with your child about making bomb threats. Should it happen, do not make excuses for your child, and get the help your child needs.

We have represented young people in these types of criminal cases. We work with excellent child psychologists and psychiatrists. We regularly work with prosecutors who really care about the child and not simply prosecuting these cases. The child's future is what matters, and all efforts must be made to avoid a conviction.

Our law firm can and will help you and your child if you ever find yourselves in this nightmare scenario. Call us!

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