Parents take kids home early from Homestead school where threat was found

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - Some parents took their children out of a Homestead school Friday due to a threatening message written on a bathroom wall at the campus.

Officials said a student at Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center wrote a shocking message in one of the school’s bathrooms, leaving students and parents on edge.

Administrators said the student behind the threat was immediately identified and disciplined, but some parents said they didn’t get any information or update.

Parent Stephanie Johnson said her son knew about the message but she didn’t. She only found out about the incident when 7News crews asked her about it.

“Oh, wow. No, I most definitely am about to turn around now and go confront the principal because that’s something everyone should now,” she said.

She isn’t the only parent who didn’t know about the situation.

A mother who did not want to go on camera is in the same boat. “You’re playing with children’s lives, and that’s just not right,” she said.

It wasn’t until she watched 7News that she decided to get her child back out of school after she had already dropped her son off at the school. “I saw your news today, and we just weren’t informed of that,” she said.

The message on the wall read, “Gateway gonna get shot up on October 13, 2017. It’s going to be a tragedy.”

A Miami-Dade County Public Schools representative said a call went out to more than a 1,000 parents on the morning of Oct. 4.

Part of the call stated, “The administration was made aware of a threatening message found in a school bathroom. The Miami-Dade Schools Police Department was immediately contacted and thoroughly investigated this incident. They have determined this to be non-credible.”

The message went on to say that there would be an increase in security out of an abundance of caution, but the call didn’t mention what the threat was.

“You have a moral obligation to tell parents that the school has a potential for being shot up,” said one parent. “Look at Las Vegas, look at Columbine, this is not a joke. Let me make my own decision. Don’t take away my right as a parent. Not saying that it was going to happen but what if?”

Many other parents also told 7News that they would not have taken their child to school Friday, including the mother of the 13-year-old son who took the picture of the message.

Other families said they felt more comfortable with the administration’s conclusion and continued with school as scheduled.

A couple of students said they noticed more officers on campus Friday.

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