12-year-old girl arrested for posting threat toward Oakridge Middle School
A 12-year-old girl is accused of posting a threat on social media to cause violence at her school in Southwest Florida.
Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Oakridge Middle School student Tuesday after they say she was responsible for threatening the school.
According to the CCSO Facebook post, detectives said the student confessed to posting the threat and sharing it, but denied having any plans or intentions of harming anyone. Investigators say the student admitted she knew there would be consequences to her actions prior to her doing so.
“What you put on there, it lasts forever,” said Rich Kolko, WINK News Safety & Security Specialist. “It goes well beyond the intended audience, and in a case like this, it’s interpreted as a threat, and the result is this young girl getting arrested.”
Principal Margaret Jackson sent an email to parents of students to let them know about the arrest.
“This was a result of someone seeing something, and saying something, which led to the arrest,” Jackson sent in the email. “Keeping our school safe is our number one priority. This requires everyone to stay vigilant and making sure if they see or hear something, they say something.”
“They have to have the ability that, if they see something suspicious, they say something to a trusted adult, to the police officer or sheriff’s deputy,” Kolko said.
This comes weeks after a similar incident, where a school shooting plot was discovered and prevented at Harns Marsh Middle School in Lehigh Acres.
“The way SROs work in the schools and the teachers is building relationships with students,” Kolko said.
The Oakridge principal wants parents of students at the school to have a real conversation with their children and keep a close eye on social media.
“Threatening them that you’re going to take away their electronic device if they don’t show you, that’s not going to work,” Kolko said. “It’s based on communication, based on looking over their shoulder sometimes, but real education process between parents and students.”
The student faces charges for written threats to kill or do bodily injury or conduct a mass shooting or an act of terrorism. Tuesday, she was in the process of being transferred to Collier Juvenile Detention and Assessment Center.
“There’s no saying that this won’t have a lasting effect either, you know, for the next couple years or even for her life,”Kolko said.
To share tips about these types of situations, the sheriff’s office says call 911 or its non-emergency number at 239-252-9300, or to remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward, contact Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477.