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South Florida Students Face Serious Charges, Lifelong Consequences For School Threats

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In the past few months, at least half a dozen South Florida students have been arrested and charged with serious crimes after making threats against schools.

As recently as Monday, a 15-year-old boy was arrested for posting a threat against Miami Senior High.

Among the recent school threat arrests made since October across Miami-Dade and Broward, all suspects were teenagers and all are facing felony charges.

"A primary focus of my job is simply this: to punish children who break the law when necessary," said Judge Elijah H. Williams.

Williams is a circuit court judge assigned to the Juvenile Delinquency Division in Broward County.

In a video from Broward County Public Schools, he discussed the potential consequences of threats, including time locked up, but that's not all.

"If you're at home, the cops will handcuff you and embarrass both you and your entire family in front of the entire neighborhood," said Williams.

The Broward State Attorney's Office told CBS4 News when an arrest is made because of a school threat, "a panel of senior prosecutors reviews the evidence and circumstances of each case to try to ensure that our office makes consistent and appropriate decisions on whether to file charges or refer the juveniles to programs and services that can help them. This can include programs that monitor them, provide psychological evaluations and care, as well as other services."

"They're putting things online they're saying things, they're sending pictures they're doing all these types of things and there's no gravitas for what that can mean for their future either short term or long term," said Adam Coughran.

Retired police officer Adam Coughran is CEO of Safe Kids Incorporated. They teach students how to prevent and survive real school threats.

He said students making fake threats simply do not realize the lifelong consequences.

"I don't think across the board any of them believe they're actually going to be in trouble and spend time in jail for what they did, maybe suspension or in trouble with my parents," he said.

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