Student arrested after threatening Miami-Dade high schools

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Police arrested a Miami-Dade student, Monday morning, after she allegedly posted threats targeting schools on social media.

The student, identified as a girl named Francesca, was arrested after, schools officials said, she used Instagram to threaten two Miami-Dade high schools. School board officials confirmed they received the social media threats over the weekend, which were aimed at Felix Varela High School, John A. Ferguson High School and South Dade High School.

An Instagram post showed an image of a gun, with the caption “i hate people.” Below the image was a comment from someone which read “anyone from ferg dade or varela don’t go to school tmmw.”

“We have a female student that was arrested by Miami-Dade Schools Police after posting a threatening message on social media,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokesperson Daisy Gonzalez-Diego.

According to officials, her arrest comes during the standardized testing time. “It’s not funny,” said student Dalton Gibbons. “It’s not something to joke of.”

Phone calls were made to parents, school officials said, to make them aware of the threats. “They called my parents this morning, leaving a voicemail saying that it’s safe, don’t feel scared of going to school. The police were already on their way and were already here,” said one student.

Students said they felt safe.

“There’s good security in this place, to make all the students OK,” said ninth-grade student Daniel Rodriguez, “so they don’t have any problems with any criminals or any problems in the school.”

Officials said they believed this threat was not credible from the beginning.

Francesca was charged with a felony count of a written threat to kill or do bodily harm. She was also charged with a misdemeanor count of interfering an educational institution. She is to have no contact at all, via email, text or social media and stay away from South Dade, Felix Varela and John A. Ferguson high schools.

Francesca made a court appearance, Monday, where a judge found probable cause for her arrest. She will be in court again Tuesday because her defense attorney argued that the threat was too vague and didn’t target anyone in particular, and that the charge should be released.

After the court appearance Monday, she could be seen running from 7News cameras along with her father and mother.

Gonzalez-Diego said, “The message that we’re trying to send is a strong one, that anything that jeopardizes or disrupts a school setting will not be tolerated or accepted.”

Officials said they take all threats seriously, whether they are made on social media or in person. They also said they know social media is a part of high school and that they need to talk to students about posting positively.

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