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Auburndale Police charge two students for causing chaos and panic about fake school shooting

Posted at 10:40 PM, Feb 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-16 23:17:14-05

AUBURNDALE, Fla.— Auburndale Police charge two students in two different incidents for creating panic at the high school.

Police arrested a 17-year-old Auburndale High School student for sending a threatening message to students in a school auditorium.

Police say the message stated "School Shooting ETA 8:40." The message was sent around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say it caused students to panic.

"This student received this message and then re-sent it and he did it by airdrop through his iPhone so multiple students received it," said Deputy Police Chief Andy Ray.

Police are still investigating to find out who created the original message. The school auditorium was filled with about 600 students at the time. They were having a junior/senior prom fashion show.

ABC Action News is not identifying the student who sent the threatening message because of his age. He was arrested on campus and he faces charges including a second degree felony.

Police say he provided a full confession. In a police report, he told officers he thought it was a joke.

"We need parents to have a conversation with their kids that this is not funny. This is obviously a very serious situation," said Deputy Police Chief Ray.

In a second incident that happened on Thursday morning outside Stambaugh Middle School, a female high school student was charged with disrupting a school function.

A 16-year-old high school student approached three students outside the middle school and told them to leave because there was going to a school shooting. This caused students to panic.

The female high school student then left campus and walked home.

"We take any and every threat against our students and schools seriously and, working in conjunction with all our law enforcement partners, will respond swiftly and with the full extent of the law," said Polk County Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd in a statement to ABC Action News.