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Friday, December 8, 2023

11-year-old craving TikTok fame makes false bomb threat at his school

A student at Umatilla Middle School was arrested for falsely stating a bomb was on campus to gain popularity on the TikTok app.

The 11-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld because he is a juvenile, was charged for lying about a bomb being on the campus earlier this week. He was later taken to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice for processing, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

On Wednesday morning, the juvenile stood up during second period and stated “there is a bomb on campus.” He was not coerced or forced to make the statement, and it was heard in front of teachers and students in the sixth-grade building. He was subsequently escorted to the main officer for questioning, the report said.

The juvenile later he made the statement because of TikTok. He explained that an app on TikTok has you yell out statements to get points on their accounts. He stated it was only a joke, and there was no bomb, the report said.

The officer spoke with command and school staff, who advised that the entire sixth grade building, gym and lunchroom was evacuated of students. Extra personnel were asked to assist with the transition of students and search of the sixth-grade building, gym and lunchroom. Nothing was found, the report said.

The juvenile was arrested for a false report concerning planting a bomb, an explosive or a weapon of mass destruction and disruption of school functions. He was initially taken to the Lake County Jail with no bond before going to the FDJJ for processing.

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