Social media threat leads to more police officers at Charlotte High School

Posted at 6:42 AM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 07:19:07-04

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- There will be an increased police presence at Charlotte High School on Tuesday after social media threats were reportedly made about violence at the school.

The Punta Gorda Police Department will be at Charlotte High School Tuesday morning because so many parents called in with concerns that something violent would happen there.

The department found social media posts hinting violence would take place at the school Tuesday.

The alert began after the school's assistant principal found out that a student made statements about people "knowing their name" and "finally getting respect" on September 20th.

School officials later determined the statements were regarding an extravagant birthday party and there is no threat to students at the school. 

A statement from local law enforcement reads:  

It has come to the attention of the Punta Gorda Police Department that there are posts on several social media outlets regarding possible violence at Charlotte High School tomorrow, September 20th.

On September 14th, an assistant principal at Charlotte High was notified anonymously that a student had made some statements about people “knowing their name” on September 20th, and “finally getting respect”. The student was identified, and it was determined that the statements were in reference to extravagant birthday plans.

School administration, along with School Resource Officer Tiffany Viola, thoroughly investigated the student’s statements, and determined there was no threat to students at the school. This included speaking to the parents, students who alleged to have information, and accessing the student’s social media accounts. Working with the parents, Officer Viola has still made special arrangements for the student to ensure that other students feel safe.

While the police department cannot address the school system’s protocol for notifying parents of events such as these, we want to ensure parents of students attending Charlotte High that officers will be present at school tomorrow due to the amount of calls and requests received to the department.

The Punta Gorda Police Department is dedicated to fostering safe environments in which children are safe to learn, and that commitment is evident in the handling of this incident. 

School begins at 7:15 a.m.