Four students have been arrested this week in Lee County over threats made against schools and or students.
A 15-year-old student threatened a mass shooting via text message against a Bonita Springs high school. The student used a third-party app in an attempt to disguise his phone number; however, detectives were still able to ID the suspect.
A second student, who attends North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts, made a threat on Snapchat that he was going to shoot Black students. The 13-year-old student was arrested.
A bomb threat was also made against the Veterans Park Academy of the Arts on Twitter. The owner of the account was tracked to a local address, and a 14-year-old boy was also arrested.
Two hours after the news conference by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral police confirmed a Mariner Middle School student was also arrested for a school threat, but no further details were given.
In response, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said he is launching a School Threat Enforcement Team to include trained detectives and an analyst to investigate school threats and tackle the nationwide issue.
Marceno said “We must proactively investigate all threats … I have zero tolerance for this. And anyone, no matter who they are, that issues a threat, will be tracked down and will go to jail.”
School District of Lee County Superintendent Ken Savage said, “No one should ever have to feel afraid to come to school.. we will pursue discipline to the fullest extent.”
On Friday afternoon, The School District of Lee County sent the following email to families:
Good afternoon SDLC families,
Thank you for trusting us with your students today. We know for many of you it was stressful due to the social media rumors of school shootings around the nation.
The safety and security of our students is our top priority. We took steps today to make sure our schools were secure and they were. Our law enforcement partners worked diligently to protect our students and staff and we are deeply appreciative for their commitment.
As we advised you yesterday, there would be zero tolerance for anyone caught making a threat, and four students were arrested today at the following schools: North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts, Veterans Park Academy for the Arts, Mariner Middle School, and Bonita Springs High School. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno made a related announcement a short time ago and it is available for you to see on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com.schooldistrictofleecounty.
We hope you enjoy the winter break and look forward to a safe and secure return to school in January.
The School District of Lee County