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Baltimore County Student Charged after School Shooting Threat

The student reportedly made a threat using Facebook that Superintendent Dallas Dance got wind of this week.

General John Stricker Middle School
General John Stricker Middle School
A 15-year-old student at General John Stricker Middle School was charged with disrupting school activities after threatening to bring guns to school in a Facebook post brought to the attention of the Baltimore County Public Schools superintendent, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Several students stayed home from school Friday as a result of the threat, according to parents.

"...I don't want to go to a funeral," friends and family members said, conferring on Facebook about whether to send their children to class amid rumors of a shootout.

Concerned citizens became aware of the threat Thursday and at least one contacted Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance via Twitter.

Dance quickly notified safety personnel, according to The Baltimore Sun, which reported parents at Holabird, Stricker and Norwood Elementary were notified Friday morning that it was safe to send their children to school, via a recorded message.

Not all parents said they received the notification, and some said they were surprised by the police presence at school when they came to pick up their kids. Several reported the schools were placed on lockdown Friday morning so police could find and search the boy who allegedly made the threat.

The case at Stricker "appeared to be linked" to a similar incident at Holabird Middle, police told The Baltimore Sun, which said no further information was available.

Administrators planned to take disciplinary action, while the student said the Facebook post about the shooting was meant as a joke, according to The Baltimore Sun.

Violent behavior that constitutes a threat to persons or property is considered a "Category 3" offense, according to the Baltimore County Public Schools Student Handbook. Such an offense may be punishable by suspension, reassignment or transfer, the handbook states.

Other repercussions may also include notifying law enforcement (which occurred in this case), mandatory substance abuse treatment and suspension from extracurricular activities.

Dance told The Baltimore Sun that students are encouraged to report anything suspicious, and the school system takes threats of violence seriously.

Robert Gladden Jr., who shot and injured a special needs student in the Perry Hall High School cafeteria in August 2012, was 15 years old, like the suspect in the Stricker case. Last year, Gladden was sentenced to 35 years in prison for attempted first-degree murder.

In November 2012, an 11-year-old Holabird Middle School student was charged with possession of a deadly weapon and bringing a deadly weapon on school property after allegedly bringing a starter pistol to school, stating he wanted to show it to his friends and did not plan to hurt anyone. 

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