Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno called out parents on Tuesday’s “Fox & Friends” after arresting a 10-year-old for threatening a school shooting in Florida.
The fifth-grade student at Patriot Elementary School in Cape Coral was arrested Saturday evening and charged with making a written threat to conduct a mass shooting. The sheriff said it was a “fake threat,” though the boy will face real consequences.
“I’m asking parents and guardians, I’ve asked them multiple times, sit your child down and explain, because we know children make mistakes, but we need the parents and guardians to sit down and tell them, ‘fake threat, real consequence,’ and here we are today,” Marceno said. “We need to get back to the old school. I can tell you this, you know, when I was growing up, my parents just looked at me and I knew all bets were off. We need to get back to the old school and hold people accountable.”
The sheriff said he will hold an individual accountable at any age and will not wait “one second” when a threat arises. (RELATED: Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno To School Shooters: ‘We Are Going To Kill You’)
“We’re not waiting one second, every tool I have, every detective, all hands on deck,” he said. “I mean business.”
Host Steve Doocy pointed to a Sunday incident in Hillsborough County, Florida, where 18-year-old Corey Anderson allegedly made a fake threat to shoot up the nearest school after allegedly posting a photograph of himself holding a pellet gun and wearing a tactical style vest. Marceno said that child safety is a top priority and therefore authorities cannot take any chances when a threat is made.
“Sheriff, what’s going on with our kids?” Doocy asked.
“I think we need to get back to the old school, like I said,” Marceno replied. “What are the repercussions? You make an adult threat and you’re a child. When you go home, are the parents and guardians sitting your children down? I’ve got to tell you, early this morning I watched one of your attendees talk about paddling. When I was growing up, the nun hit you with a ruler, a wooden ruler. You understood what was right and wrong.”
“And today, what do we do?” he continued. “Society says well, if your parent disciplines you and does any kind of abuse, come forward so we can report your parents. So, parents are afraid, they’re afraid to discipline their kids. Let’s get back to the old school.”
The child’s threat came days following the Robb Elementary School shooting that killed 19 students and 2 teachers. The Department of Justice announced an investigation into law enforcement’s handling of the incident after reports found that 19 officers waited approximately an hour before entering the classroom to engage with the gunman.