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Lee sheriff expands school threat team; Cape Coral police report threat, student, 13, faces charges

The Lee County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday announced it was expanding its school threat enforcement team, called STET.
Lee County Sheriff's Office
Special to WGCU
The Lee County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday announced it was expanding its school threat enforcement team, called STET.

School threats were a main local law enforcement topic Wednesday as the Lee County Sheriff's Office announced the expansion of its school threat enforcement team and Cape Coral police said they arrested a 13-year-old private school student for making a threat.

The Cape Coral police action came Tuesday when the department's School Resource Officers were made aware of a school threat at Mid Cape Global Academy, a private, charter school at 76 Mid Cape Terrace.

The School Resource Officer assigned to this school was told that a 7th-grade student, 13, had posted a threatening message on the school's Tik-Tok account, saying "Imma shot the school up on 3.08.23." WGCU is not naming the student, nor posting his mug shot, due to his age.

The student initially denied posting the written threat, but later admitted that he did post the threat, but was only kidding. The student stated that he understood the severity of his threats, was subsequently transported to Lee County Jail and charged with felony written or electronic threats to kill or conduct a mass shooting.

The Sheriff's Office on Wednesday announced it was expanding its school threat enforcement team, called STET.

"STET's proactive approach is constantly monitoring and scrubbing social media, and local and national intelligence reports," Sheriff Carmine Marceno said. "We comb through mountains of information to determine if a student poses a threat and intervene immediately before violence takes place. STET works closely with our partners (at the) Lee County School District, Cape Coral, (and) the Fort Myers police departments to ensure no one slips through the cracks."

Marceno said in the past year STET has done 229 threat assessments investigated 31 threats of violence, and conducted 767 follow up investigations and made 40 arrests.

"Last month our staff team grew to its current size of one captain, two sergeants, four detectives and two analysts with the sole focus on school safety," Marceno said. "We've also added a licensed social worker, and three mental health focused professionals... . They work with parents and guardians to find what resources are available in the community. When appropriate, diversion programs like our own LCSO boxing, and basketball program are used."

Lee County School Superintendent Dr. Christopher Bernie appeared with Marceno Wednesday and said the best way to stay focused on learning is to eliminate the disruption caused by a threat of violence to another student, or to an entire school.

"Our students should know that we take all threats seriously," Bernie said. "And we'll investigate alongside law enforcement by making threats even as a joke, students risk serious school and possible criminal discipline that can impact their education. And unfortunately, maybe the rest of their lives. Students be smart. Think before you say something or post something."

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