LIVE OAK, Fla. — The Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a threat of a school shooting referenced on graffiti in a bathroom at Suwannee Middle School.
In a release, the SCSO said several students told a teacher Thursday afternoon there was graffiti in the eighth-grade boys bathroom that referenced a school shooting Friday.
The school will still be open Friday, but with additional officers on hand.
Jacob Williamson, the school resource officer at the middle school, along with school administrators interviewed all known potential suspects after reviewing camera footage, according to the release. All the students denied responsibility or knowledge of who did it.
Ted Roush, superintendent of the Suwannee County schools, said in a release that there is no way to know how long the graffiti had been present in the bathroom. He added that there is no evidence that the threat was credible.
Still, the school district and sheriff's office are taking the matter seriously.
As the Superintendent of Schools, I can assure you that we take every rumor and all threats, in any form, very serious," Roush said in the release. "As a precautionary measure, there will be additional security measures taken."
The SCSO also stated that a photo of the threat was shared on at least one school bus Thursday afternoon and officers are investigating that as well.
“The safety and security of the students and staff at all of our schools is our top priority and acts like this undermine the feeling of safety our children deserve to have,” Sheriff Sam St. John and the SCSO said in the release. “It will not be tolerated. Please know that every measure is being taken to ensure our children’s safety.”
A written threat to commit violence is a felony and the SCSO said it will pursue all potential charges against the suspect once they are identified.
"Any and all individuals that seek to cause fear in others will be dealt with to the maximum extent provided for by law," Roush added in the release. "I have no tolerance for this type of behavior that would seek to cause any parent, student, faculty, or staff member additional fear or stress. This type of behavior is reckless, thoughtless, and without regard for the stakeholders of our school district."
Further information will be released when it doesn’t compromise the ongoing investigation, the SCSO said.
“We’re going to have extra officers there to help alleviate some of the anxiety and concerns that teachers and parents and students may have,” he said. “We’re exhausting every avenue.”