Making a School Threat is No Joke, It’s a Crime

Under a new Florida law, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, it is now a second-degree felony to post shooting or terrorism threats on social media platforms – even if the threat is posted as a joke. Violators could face a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

It is critical that parents discuss with their children the importance of reporting these threats when they see them, rather than sharing and spreading the threats on social media – what we mean when we say “see something, say something.”

To encourage and facilitate increased reporting of social media threats, a new app is available that allows students, parents, and staff to report threats and suspicious activity directly to local law enforcement.

The app is called StudentProtect, and it is a collaboration between the School District of Palm Beach County, the District’s School Police Department, and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Within the app, the user can also dial 911 and have the exact GPS location of their mobile device sent to first responders.

Users can subscribe to specific schools to receive alerts and notifications from law enforcement. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices by searching “PBC StudentProtect” in Google Play or the App Store. For more information, visit