Florida

Threaten a school in this Florida county and you’re guaranteed a $1,000 fine

This photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office shows an AR-15 rifle made of Legos that authorities say a 14-year-old boy posted on Instagram, along with a threat against West Hills High School in Santee, California. The boy, a freshman at the school, was arrested on Feb. 27, 2018, on suspicion of making terrorist threats.
This photo provided by the San Diego County Sheriff's Office shows an AR-15 rifle made of Legos that authorities say a 14-year-old boy posted on Instagram, along with a threat against West Hills High School in Santee, California. The boy, a freshman at the school, was arrested on Feb. 27, 2018, on suspicion of making terrorist threats. AP

Fifteen students have been charged in one Florida county for threats, “jokes,” and gun comments since the Parkland massacre, and the sheriff says he’s going to make them pay.

Literally.

Make a threat in Volusia County, even if you think it’s just a joke, and you’re going to pay at least $1,082. You can count on that — in addition to any relevant criminal charges for your threats or actions.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood announced this policy on Thursday. Four more students — ages 14 to 17 — were charged with making threats of violence or false statements about guns at Volusia County schools, bringing the number of students facing these types of charges to 15 since the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland two weeks ago, the department posted on Facebook.

Threats against schools have skyrocketed nationwide since former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 14 students and three faculty members on Feb. 14. In Miami-Dade alone, more than 50 threats via social media were reported in a single day two days after the shootings.

“In light of the continued failures of so many students to heed repeated warnings from law enforcement and school administrators,” Chitwood said these defendants or their families will be held responsible for paying the cost of the sheriff’s office response to their cases.

The cost is a minimum of $1,082. “The true cost could be much higher depending on the resources required in each individual case,” the Volusia Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.

“Charging parents for the investigation for school threats … GREAT IDEA … this may cause parents do … PARENTING!!!!” a reader posted on the Facebook thread.

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