Sheriff's deputies in Florida arrested an 11-year-old boy who was accused of threatening to blow up his school and use a gun on his classmates. It was the second threat this week in the city of Palm Coast, the sheriff said.
A can of mace and a pocketknife were found in the backpack of the boy, who was booked on a charge of making false report of a bomb threat at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School and released to his parents, Flagler County Sheriff's officials said.
The school's principal, Barbara Kavanagh, contacted deputies on Wednesday after a parent emailed saying their daughter had heard the young boy making threatening comments during lunch on Tuesday, officials said.
Deputies talked with the boy and his parents. He admitted making the statements, but said he was “joking,” sheriff’s officials said.
“This is the second arrest this week for making threats and then claiming they were just joking,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a statement.
On Tuesday, high school student Joseph Washington was arrested and charged with threatening to kill a school administrator. The 18-year-old told investigators he wrote the song lyrics after he was suspended from Matanzas High School for violating the dress code and using vulgar language, according to the sheriff's office.
“Parents, please talk to your kids about wrong and right, and keep track of what they’re bringing to school in their backpacks," Staly said. “Do not be surprised when we come knocking on your door after hearing about a bomb threat your child has made. Saying you were just joking is not going to make deputies turn around and leave. We take all threats very seriously and your child will be arrested."