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Two juveniles arrested in threatening note incident at Gainesville High

Security will remain high for end of week

POSTED: December 4, 2013 11:47 p.m.

Two male juveniles were arrested Wednesday in connection with a threatening note found in a Gainesville High School boys restroom.

“One juvenile has been charged with terroristic threats and acts, interference with government property and disruption of a public school,” said Gainesville police spokesman Cpl. Kevin Holbrook.

The juvenile has been taken into custody at the Gainesville Regional Youth Detention Center, where he remained Wednesday night, Holbrook said.

The second juvenile was charged with false statements during the course of the investigation. Both are Gainesville High students, Holbrook said.

“(Gainesville police) were able to develop leads in the case,” he said, adding the investigation was assisted by school leaders, the school resource officer and surveillance video from inside the building.

Gainesville City Schools Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said both students also face further disciplinary action from the school.

The note was found Tuesday afternoon in a boys restroom, scribbled on the wall. It read in part “there will be no more Gainesville High School” after today.

Security was tight at the school following the discovery of the note, which also threatened the use of explosives and guns.

Gainesville police were at the school Wednesday morning, searching student backpacks. Police dogs and their handlers went around the perimeter of the campus.

“It looks like the airport, going through security — the lines and going through the bags,” Dyer said. “It did go very smoothly.”

Security will remain tight through the end of the week, both Dyer and Holbrook said. Additionally, the state’s End of Course Tests scheduled for today and Friday have been postponed until Monday and Tuesday.

“We (are working) together with the school system in the investigation to ensure that we can provide our youth with the safest possible learning environment,” Holbrook said. “Although we found these threats to be fictitious, we will keep additional security measures in place throughout the week and as long as necessary to ensure the safest environment for our students and faculty.”

A student initially found the note written on the bathroom wall. An image has been passed around by several students on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

A $500 reward was in place for Wednesday as incentive for students to turn in the author of the note, though no one received it.

“The reward is for the purpose of getting it shut down (Wednesday) so that people can be relieved for (today),” Dyer said at the time.

She added that a lot of parents came into the school Wednesday morning with their children. Nearly 300 students were absent at the beginning of the school day. Dyer said some checked in later, but a significant amount were still absent.

“(Wednesday) went extremely well,” Dyer said in an email. “The students were very cooperative and seemed to appreciate the extra care and caution.”



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