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Teen arrested in connection to bomb threats made at Shanks Middle School

Last week the Quincy Police Department arrested a 13-year-old student at James A. Shanks Middle School. 

That student is accused of calling in bomb threats to the school.

Hill said the school had three bomb threats within 30 days, including the call on Tuesday, March 12 “This was the third bomb threat reported at the school in the last 30 days,” Interim Chief Hill said during a press conference at City Hall on Wednesday, March 13.

Hill said the school staff recognized the background noise on the phone call leading them to the school gym.

Quincy Police Interim Chief Carlos Hill said the school staff recognized the background noise on the phone call leading them to the school gym.

“Quincy Police Criminal Investigations Division, along with school staff, conducted interviews and was able to identify the student involved, including the phone used to make the telephone call,” Hill said.

Chief Hill said the student is being charged with false reporting of planting a bomb, explosive, or weapon of mass destruction.

The chief said during the investigation, it was also discovered that other students may have participated in the call.

He said the department will coordinate with school officials to identify those students, and the investigation is on-going.

Hill said they are not looking to charge the student with any federal charges.

The student was arrested and was being held at the juvenile detention center in Tallahassee.

Superintendent Elijah Key said a bomb threat was called into George W. Munroe Elementary on Feb. 14, in addition to the call made to Shanks.

The superintendent said another call was made on Monday, March 11, and he was on campus when the call came in on March 12.

Key said the bomb threats disrupt the schools’ learning environment.

“This also causes our first responders to stop what they’re doing from day-t0-day,” Key added.

The Quincy Fire Department and Gadsden County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Quincy Police Department with the calls.

“While they are responding to a prank call, it’s taking them away from other needed calls throughout our community,” Key said.

Key said this is a zero-tolerance offense. He said anytime a student calls in a threat to a school–even if it is a prank–that student will be expelled from school for the remainder of that school year, and possibly part of the following school year.

Erin Hill – Gadsden County News Service