MIAMI (WSVN) – Police have arrested two Miami-Dade County Public Schools students, a 16-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy, in connection to “two separate hoax threats” posted on social media toward Miami Senior High and Miami Northwestern Senior High schools, school district officials said.
Miami-Dade County Public Schools made the announcement of the boy’s arrest on Twitter, Monday morning.
He was later identified as 15-year-old Jonathan Grisales.
The statement released read in part, “He is alleged to have posted a threat involving Miami High that was then altered by other individuals and reposted on social media, affecting several other schools.”
“We were able to identify the IP address of the computer that was used, and this individual was arrested early this morning,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
“Sunday, Dec. 6, an alleged incident involving a social media threat was reported at Miami Senior. Miami-Dade Schools Police Department in conjunction with the threat assessment team is investigating this incident,” said Miami Senior High School Principal Benny Valdes.
Monday evening, a spokesperson for M-DCPS confirmed the girl’s arrest in connection to threats made against Miami Northwestern Senior High.
A statement issued by M-DCPS reads in part, “Since last week, the Miami-Dade Schools Police Department has been investigating more than a dozen threats – mostly on social media. At this time, none appear to be credible; however, in an abundance of caution, there will continue to be additional police presence at several District schools.”
The schools with stepped-up police presence include Miami Palmetto Senior High, Miami Southridge and Miami Beach High.
School officials warn students that these acts warrant serious consequences.
7News spoke to Jonathan’s father, Benjamin Grisales on Monday. He said this is all a horrible mistake.
Speaking in Spanish, Benjamin said his son’s Instagram account was hacked. He said someone gained access to the Instagram account on Saturday and shared pornographic pictures and threatening messages.
“It breaks my heart, because he was desperately deleting the pictures, deleting the pornographic pictures, deleting the messages, because he didn’t want his friends to think it was him who was sending them,” said Benjamin, “and he would write to them and say, ‘Look, it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me.’”
Police said the message they traced back to Jonathan reads, “I am going to kill everyone at Miami Senior High School, do not go to school if you want, if you don’t want to die on December 6th, everyone is going to see the anger inside of me.”
When asked whether or not Jonathan made these threats, Benjamin replied, “No, Jonathan, no. Jonathan is a boy who is very very straight and narrow, very friendly, gets along with his classmates.”
When asked if he has something to say to those who believe he is lying in order to protect his son, Benjamin replied, “What is certain is that Jonathan isn’t a bad person. He is not someone who is planning to do damage to others, and he really needs help right now. They should analyze his cellphone with a special software, and they’re going to see the truth is he wasn’t the one who sent those messages.”
In the case of the 16-year-old girl who was arrested, it remains unclear what the threat was, but 7News found a post making its rounds on social media on Monday that reads, “Don’t go to school tomorrow I will blow up Miami Northwestern Senior High School and you will be the first to die.”
Police have not confirmed whether or not this is the threat that led to the girl’s arrest of the teenage girl.
The arrests come on the same day students at G Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Southwest Miami-Dade were forced to the floor after a photo of a student with a gun was reported to police.
Within the hour, police were able to determine there was no photo and no threat.
“It disrupts the educational environment, it sends fear and panic throughout the school community, through the parent community, and it’s absolutely unwarranted,” said Carvalho.
The superintendent said the district has dealt with a dozen threats towards M-DCPS campuses so far, including a threat written on a wall at South Dade Senior High School.
School officials called the disruption and fear caused by school threats unacceptable.
Some students did not show up to school on Monday due to the threats.
“My mom said it was best for me not to come ’cause it’s not worth it,” said Kevin Leyva, Miami High School student.
Last week, a 17-year-old student appeared in juvenile court after being accused of making a social media threat toward Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Carvalho had a message for the students who took the post aimed at Miami Senior High and altered it to different schools.
“If you had a part in it, we’re going to investigate you, and we’re going to collaborate with prosecutors to ensure that you are prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” said Carvalho.
He mentioned the FBI and Secret Service are collaborating in the investigation.
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