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Polk County girl threatened school shooting

Classmates mentioned in one of the threats, Auburndale police say

AUBURNDALE, Fla. – A 15-year-old girl was arrested Monday on suspicion of threatening to shoot classmates at her Polk County high school.

Police said Karrisa Gail Degeer, a ninth-grade student at Auburndale High School, was arrested on three felony counts of making a written threat to kill or injure.

Auburndale police said the investigation began Nov. 21 after a threat of violence was made against multiple people in a message on a bathroom wall at Auburndale High. Police said the threat referenced Jan. 29, 2020.

While detectives were investigating, two more written threats were discovered Monday in two separate bathrooms at the school, officials said. The threats referenced a school shooting on Jan. 29, 2020, and one of the messages included the first names of six students, according to police.

Detectives questioned Degeer and she confessed to writing the threats, according to police. She was then arrested.

The Auburndale Police Department said it takes all threats seriously.

“We encourage parents to talk to their school-age children about the seriousness of such senselessness,” police said in a statement. “We also encourage parents and students to, 'If you see something, say something.’”

Polk County School Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd also released a statement about the incident.

“We are most thankful to the Auburndale Police Department for their swift and thorough investigation into the written threat left in a bathroom at Auburndale High School late last month. Our local law enforcement agencies are invaluable partners as we work to provide the safest possible learning environment for our students. But safe schools will only be achieved if we all work together. I encourage our students, staff, parents and community members to remain diligent. If you see or hear anything suspicious, immediately report it to your school administrators. We can never be too careful when it comes to student safety," Byrd said.


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