SHALIMAR, Fla., Oct. 5, 2017–The social media app Snapchat appears to be the go-to medium for unhappy teenagers.
A Fort Walton Beach High School student was arrested Oct. 5 for threatening the school on Snapchat.
Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrested 15-year-old Brent Robeen of Shalimar who was charged with sending a threat to kill or do bodily harm, a second-degree felony.
Robeen posted a video on Snapchat with the message “Don’t come to skool tomorrow” and what appeared to be an AK-47.
A friend of Robeen’s who received the social media message reported it to her mother, the principal at Fort Walton Beach High School and the school resource officer.
She said it frightened her and made her fear for the safety of her classmates. She added she did not want to attend school because she didn’t know if Robeen would carry out his threat.
When OCSO investigators made contact with Robeen last night, he told them the social media message was “just a joke.”
The Snapchat video first shows Robeen’s face with the caption, then cuts to the weapon where he releases the action on it.
OCSO investigators determined it was not an AK-47, but a type of airsoft gun.
A similar Snapchat threat was made Oct. 2 directed at the North Fort Myers High School in Lee County.
The administration sent out an email to parents telling them the student was identified and the threat was unsubstantiated. The student faces disciplinary actions for this threat.
In Pasco County, a 14-year-old high school student was charged Oct. 2 with making threats to kill, also a felony. The previous night, he posted on Snapchat about bringing a machete to school to kill students.
He, too, said it was a joke after being confronted by the local police.
A high school in Massachusetts also received a Snapchat threat, stating that the school would “turn into Las Vegas” in reference to the mass shooting at an outdoor concert there last week.
The threat was unsubstantiated.
And in Arizona, a high school also received a threat via Snapchat Oct. 4; however, investigations determined similar threats were made to several schools around the country using the same phone number and message.
Snapchat appears to remain silent regarding these types of incidents.
The website states Snap Inc.’s products “empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world and have fun together.”
Guidelines state Snapchat has “zero tolerance for spam” and doesn’t tolerate bullying, but only advises users to “never threaten to harm a person, group of people or property.”
Violators of the Snapchat guidelines may be reported to law enforcement and have their accounts terminated, and if so and will not be allowed to use the app in the future.
Staff and OSCO news release