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Twitter Images and Gun Threats Cause Concern at Matanzas High School

| February 15, 2016

twitter gun threats

The threatening posts were detected by Matanzas High School authorities last Thursday. (© FlaglerLive)

Authorities at Matanzas High School became concerned last Thursday over postings on a 10th grader’s Twitter page showing what appeared to be pistols and a semi-automatic rifle captioned by threats such as “ISIS Affiliated” and “High School Musical; Massacre edition.”


The student told Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies that he had posted the images, but that all the weapons were the air soft variety, while the postings had somehow been doctored by someone else to add the captions. The student denied any role in captioning the images.

Ken Seybold, assistant principal at Matanzas, was alerted to the postings by a text message from Morgan Moreira, a cheerleading coach at the school, who picked up on the two Twitter postings from the 10th grader. The postings were dated Feb. 9 at 1:41 p.m., when school would have still been in session.

The first picture, according to the sheriff’s incident report, shows two pistols with the caption, ” Troy Bolton? High School Musical? Whatchu’ doin boi.” “When you catch the teacher who
failed you last semester lackin’.” (Troy Bolton is the popular fictional character and protagonist of “High School Musical.”) The second picture shows a semi-automatic rifle with the caption, “Palm
Compton.” “ISIS Affiliated.” “Ain’t Troy Bolton no more.” “High School Musical; Massacre edition.” “When you tired of getting beat up in school.”

Seybold reported the implied threat as credible, according to the incident report, and forwarded them to the sheriff’s office. A deputy investigating the case went to the student’s home on Lincoln Lane in Palm Coast, where his grandparents, Martha and Larry Wilson, said they had no knowledge of the pictures or weapons shown in the picture. Larry told the deputy that his grandson plays with Paintball and Airsoft guns, but that he does not own or possess the weapons shown in the pictures.

The boy was not at home at the time. A deputy was able to meet with him at the house after 11 p.m. that day. He told the deputy that he recalled posing with AirSoft hand guns and a rifle on Sunday, Feb. 7 (two days before the posting’s time stamp the cheerleader coach had noted) but that the images had been altered by “an unknown person.” (Access to a Twitter feed is controlled by a handle and password, making the alteration of posted material on an individual’s feed impossible absent that access.)

The student, according to the incident report, “denied having any knowledge of or participation in adding said captions to the photographs and posting the photographs with captions on Twitter.” Asked if he had any particular reason to post the items, the student simply replied, “No.” He said “he has no affiliation with ISIS nor does he have any animosity or hard feeling with any past or present teachers or staff members at Matanzas High School.” Nor, he said, did he have any intention of harming himself or others.

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10 Responses for “Twitter Images and Gun Threats Cause Concern at Matanzas High School”

  1. Ken Dodge says:

    Intimations of violence and images of guns on the website of a school whose name means “massacre” and whose mascot is a pirate. How inappropriate.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good job all around on following up on this. Sometimes kids just say do the dumb things kids do without thinking of what it is they are doing and or saying.

  3. Brad W says:

    That’s actually easy to verify his story whether someone else logged into his account or not. All they have to do is ask him to do pull up his Twitter Data under settings in a browser. There is a login history complete with IP addresses.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hate my school

  5. Anonymous says:

    …Which is exactly what they should do. These grandparents, while well-meaning, seem to have no idea what their grandson is up to. This kid may be in need of therapeutic help and definitely needs some serious supervision.

  6. Anon. says:

    So do we have school or ??

  7. Scoobydoo says:

    Oh no a PIRATE for a mascot and a school that has a name like 25 other places around the state.. Somebody stop them there crazy!!!

  8. PCer says:

    Scoobydoo – it is the only Matanzas HS in the country – and it does translate to massacre.

    With that said, good job reporting this Seybold. Matanzas has long been like ducks on a pond. Everything looks great on the surface, but it is a hot mess underneath. Drugs, bullies, hazing, and other not so great examples are easily found there, but not often officially reported making it appear to be the “good” school in the county. I would rather have 2 GREAT schools in the county. Keep cleaning it up and we can do it.

  9. Since 1987 says:

    Please people calm down. Kids will be kids and foolish at times. Nothing to see here, move along.

  10. Anonymous says:

    @Since1987says-Tell that to the good people in Columbine. Or, better yet, read the book that Dylan Kliebold’s mother just wrote about the warning signs she missed and the regrets that will plague her for the rest of her life. It’s the nature of kids to act out while trying (and too often failing) to keep their negative feelings and issues inside–especially if they have been bullied. Forming committees and holding conferences on “bullying” is not enough. Parents and the rest of us need to stop turning our faces away and saying “kids will be kids.” It’s better to pay attention and delve into the situation in a proactive manner than to live forever with unanswerable questions and regrets–even if it does seem more expedient in the short-run.

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