Education

‘You and your children are next on Valentine’s Day.’ Boys threaten teacher, police say.

This is Southwood Middle School in 2004 on the day after a student was stabbed to death there.
This is Southwood Middle School in 2004 on the day after a student was stabbed to death there. Miami Herald file photo

Two Southwood Middle School students are facing felony charges after police say they threatened their teacher and her family on Instagram.

Miami-Dade Police on Monday said two male students, ages 12 and 13, created an Instagram account titled “Southwood School Shooter” and messaged their teacher on Sunday.

“You and your children are next on Valentine’s Day for making my life I’m finna kill all yo family and shoot up yo bitch ass school,” the message read. The teacher also found a comment of “!” from the account on a photo of her infant daughter.

“The victim in fear for her life and that of her family contacted police,” the arrest report read.

Miami-Dade Schools Police responded and arrived at the 13-year-old’s apartment, where he was alone, according to the report.

“This must be about the school shooter Instagram account,” the 13-year-old told police, according to the report. He then named the 12-year-old boy as a co-conspirator, police said.

Police said both boys admitted to creating the Instagram account and using cellphones to communicate with their teacher. They were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center without incident, according to the report.

The Miami Herald is not identifying the students because of their ages. Both boys face felony charges of cyberstalking and written threats to kill or commit bodily injury.

Miami-Dade Schools Police have vetted 59 threats — on social media, verbal and written — since the start of school, according to a press release from the department. Those investigations have led to the arrests of 12 students.

“Recent arrests of students for hoax social media threats demonstrate clearly and unequivocally that Miami-Dade County Public Schools has a zero-tolerance policy related to this type of activity,” Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said in a statement. “Parents and students must understand that any threat — real or fabricated — to schools and students is a serious matter. It is unacceptable and those involved in such activity will be prosecuted. Prank and hoax threats made against a school are counterproductive to the life-saving work of law enforcement and compromise the safety of everyone.”

In 2004, a 14-year-old Southwood Middle student, Jaime Gough, was stabbed to death in a school restroom by another 14-year-old student.

Family, friends and city of Palmetto Bay officials gathered Thursday, Sept. 20, on the campus of Southwood Middle School to honor the memory of Jaime Gough, and to unveil a street named after him.

Colleen Wright returned to the Miami Herald in May 2018 to cover all things education, including Miami-Dade and Broward schools, colleges and universities. The Herald was her first internship before she left her hometown of South Miami to earn a journalism degree from the University of Florida.

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