Gulf Co. Joins List of School Threats


Gulf County joins the list of school threats making its way across the Panhandle.

A 12-year-old student was arrested for threats of allegedly blowing up Wewahitchka Elementary School last Friday, and was charged for threatening to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The Gulf County Sheriff’s Office say they received the tip from faculty, who was told by other students.

Superintendent Jim Norton says these threats are to not be taken lightly since the Parkland school shooting in South Florida. “You know, two and a half – three weeks ago we probably would have handled it internally or differently, but today we turn them over to law enforcement,” he said.

This is the second reported Gulf County school threat in recent months.

Last December, authorities arrested Robert Paul Alexander Edwards,33, of Mexico Beach – after they say a student from Port St. Joe Elementary returned a disturbing drawing that depicts a school shooting allegedly scribbled by Edwards. 

His charges were dropped in late January.

The gun control debate has also been a hot topic of discussion since the Parkland shooting. However, the Gulf County Superintendent thinks otherwise.

“Gun control should not even be apart of this debate. The gun was simply just a means to an end in South Florida to do the dastardly act they did,” said Norton.

He says that there should be additional school resource officers on campus by using state funds.

He says there should also be more means for protection.”I’m an advocate for yes -yes, arming qualified school employees,” he said.

Meanwhile, Norton says the district will continue to use their discretion.

“We’re going to err on the side of caution to those entrusted to us,” he said.

The student was taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice and wil be incarcerated for twenty-one days. Investigators did determine the student didn’t possess or have access to any explosive materials or devices.

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