Student charged in school shooting plot adds to latest arrests
An 18-year-old Pennsylvania student was arrested Tuesday for threatening to conduct a mass shooting at his high school's graduation — the latest in a string of student arrests across the country after a Florida gunman killed 17.
Jacob Deneen, a Shade-Central City High School student, confessed to plotting the school shooting with two other students at this year's graduation ceremony, WJAC-TV reported.
He's been charged with making terroristic threats and causing or risking catastrophe.
Shade-Central City High School received another threat on Friday.
Cops arrested a 17-year-old student on Sunday after family members contacted them saying he was planning to shoot up the high school, according to WJAC.
In Foley, Ala., police arrested a 8th grade student Tuesday after he allegedly threatened to gun down Foley Middle School before the end of the year. The teen was charged with making terroristic threats.
In Pensacola, Fla., police arrested three people for threatening schools in Escambia County. Authorities haven't said if the suspects are students.
In Broward County, Fla., where shooting suspect 19-year-old opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, a 13-year-old girl was arrested for posting to Instagram that students at Central Charter School would be killed.
Kentucky State Police charged a 14-year-old Breckinridge County Middle School student with attempted murder after admitting he wanted to stab other students with a knife.
Dr. Scott Poland, a psychology professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, says the increase in student arrests can be attributed to the national coverage of school shootings.
"Schools always have a few of what I would call 'disillusioned students' who are not connected to the school and the staff," Poland said. "We always have students who are thinking about violence. Thankfully, schools have made progress with threat assessments, but the national coverage just causes a state of unrest."
Poland says some students might find it amusing to make threats online without weighing the consequences. He added that all threats should all be taken seriously.
"Sometimes kids get hammered pretty hard for just saying something they did not mean or something they couldn't possibly carry out because they don't have a weapon or a plan," Poland said. "Sometimes weren't even angry about anything."