A 13-year-old boy was arrested Thursday after being accused of making social media threats to commit a mass shooting at Belleview Middle School.
Numerous parents contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday night after their children reported seeing threats on Snapchat against a teacher and students at the school, located at 10500 SE 36th Ave. in Belleview. As a result of the threat, more than 400 students were absent from Belleview Middle School on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
During the course of the investigation, deputies and detectives identified the juvenile, whose name is being withheld because of his age. He admitted to creating the social media account used to make the threats because the teacher had yelled at him in the cafeteria, a sheriff’s office report states.
Under Florida law, anyone making a written threat toward a school, whether hand-written or electronically, is committing a felony. Marion County Public Schools and the sheriff’s office take every threat seriously and have taken a zero-tolerance stance toward that type of behavior.
The juvenile was charged with writing or sending a threat to kill or injure and disturbing the peace/interfering with school administration functions.
A 14-year-old also was arrested this week in connection with mass shooting threats at both the high school and middle school in Belleview. He was taken into custody after making a report to the sheriff’s office blaming an unknown person for that social media post.
The sheriff’s office also is investigating another threat against a local school, but no arrest as yet been made.