Palm Beach County, Treasure Coast school districts alert parents about 'unfounded' threat

Law enforcement investigating threat against unnamed school circulating on social media
An unfounded school threat circulating on social media in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast on May 4, 2023.jpg
Posted at 6:07 AM, May 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-05 09:59:33-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Law enforcement agencies in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast on Friday are investigating an unfounded threat circulating on social media against an unnamed school.

The message has gone viral across our viewing area, threatening violence on school campuses.


The School District of Palm Beach County on Friday sent a callout and letter to all parents, guardians, and staff members about a "non-credible and vague threat that was posted and shared on social media."

The district said the post did not name any specific schools or school districts, and was circulating throughout school districts across the state.

"Police believe it to be a hoax," the district said, adding that "law enforcement is well aware of the post and is actively investigating this matter - trying to determine who is responsible."

On the Treasure Coast, school districts in St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River, and Okeechobee counties said they are aware of the threat and law enforcement will be monitoring any developments.

In a message to parents and guardians, the Martin County School District said the "vague threat of school violence" is being "fully investigated by law enforcement officials."

"While there has been no reference made to any of our schools, our partners at the Martin County Sheriff's Office are aware of the situation and monitoring all developments to ensure the continued safety of our students, staff and schools," the school district said.

The district added that students manipulated the original post "to make parents and peers believe the threat is about local schools."

The Martin County Sheriff's Office is "comprehensively investigating these actions and students that have been determined to be involved will face serious disciplinary and potential legal consequences," the district said.

All public schools in Martin County will have an increased law enforcement presence on Friday out of an abundance of caution.

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Calling it a "hoax threat," the School District of Indian River County said that, out of an abundance of caution, there will be extra law enforcement officers at schools throughout the district on Friday.

In a Facebook post, the Okeechobee County School District said it's communicated with local law enforcement about the threat.

"Please have a conversation with your students about the serious disciplinary and legal implications of making threats to a school campus," the school district said.

On Thursday, parents and guardians who have students at Royal Palm Beach Community High School received a message from Principal Michelle Fleming about the threat.

Fleming said school was not named in the threat, and there was no indication that it was valid.

"This information has been reposted by some who have seen it and placed it in social media chats resulting in further circulation of the threat," Fleming said in the message to parents.

The principal added that law enforcement investigated the matter and concluded the rumors were unfounded.

"Several individuals have reported this post to law enforcement through the Fortify Florida app," Fleming said in the message to parents. "Investigators are well aware of the situation and appreciate tips shared through the app."

A parent who has a student who attends Palm Beach Gardens Community High School told WPTV on Thursday they received a similar message.

Making a threat against a school in Florida is a second-degree felony.