Collier County mother says son’s life was threatened on school bus

Reporter: Emma Heaton, Justin Kase Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

A Collier County mother wrote to Wink News, worried over a threat her 12-year-old son received while on his school bus.

She said another child told her son he was going to “shoot the school” and said if he told anyone, he’d shoot and kill him first.

She immediately called the school, afraid for her son’s life.

They initially said that the child who threatened her son was expelled, but just a week later, that same child was back on the bus as if nothing happened.

But on Thursday, the mother said the principal at Pine Ridge Middle, Michelle Gordon, called to apologize for giving her the wrong information.

Gordon then sent out a mass letter to parents:

“I want to make you aware of a situation that occurred recently. School Administration was made aware of a verbal threat made against a student and the school. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office was immediately notified, and they conducted an investigation that determined the threat was NOT credible. According to investigators, not credible in this context means not able to be carried out or made possible.

Please know that your child’s safety continues to be a priority, and we are fortunate to work closely with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office when concerns are brought to our attention. Our success is dependent upon us working together to make sure that our students are safe and well-educated. Please remind your child tonight that if they see something, they should say something, not spread rumors, and always report anything that looks or sounds suspicious.”

Former FBI agent Robert Foley explained why the student who apparently made the threats wasn’t arrested.

He said that there is a big difference between written and verbal threats in the eyes of Florida law.

According to Foley, for verbal threats to rise to the level of an arrest, two factors must be present: a level of imminency and the ability to carry it out.

“There has to be a well-founded fear,” Foley said, “and what makes that fear well-founded is some evidence that there is, right then and there, the ability to carry it out, like the presence, actual presence of a firearm.”

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