On Thursday, two 14-year-old girls from Florida were arrested on conspiracy to murder charges after a teacher found a folder that outlined plans to kill nine other students.
According to WTSP, affidavits state that on Wednesday, a teacher at Avon Park Middle School saw the two girls acting "hysterical" as they searched for a folder. The teacher claimed one of the girls said that they would be arrested if the folder was found by someone else; the teacher said the other girl responded, "I'm just going to tell them it's a prank if they call me or if they find it."
According to the Highland County Sheriff's Office, the teacher found the folder, which was labeled “private info,” “do not open,” and “project 11/9.” The eight sheets of paper inside the folder allegedly adumbrated a scheme to murder the other students whose full names or initials were listed, and the word “guns” was also printed there. The teacher then notified the school resource officer and other school officials.
The Daily Mail reports that an incident report stated that the papers “described how the juvenile suspects would obtain firearms to kill the victims and dispose of their remains, ‘specifically burning and burying their bodies.'”
WTSP adds, “Also included in the folder were hand-written notes describing the clothing the girls would wear during the killing spree, such as gloves, and how they would look. ‘NO NAILS’ and ‘No Hair Showing from the moment we put on our clothes.’”
One parent told Fox 13, “It’s scary not knowing if your kid was on that list or not. [One of the suspects] was real friendly and everything. They said that it didn’t seem like it would be her, either one of them, they were both real friends and popular in school.”
On Thursday, Andrew Lethbridge, deputy superintendent for Highlands County schools, issued a statement which said:
We would like to take the opportunity to remind students (and everyone) that we are all held accountable for the information that we communicate. The [School Board of Highlands County] takes threats very seriously and we work closely with the HCSO to investigate them. We have stressed the concept that if staff or students hear or see something that concerns them, to please share that information with an adult that can do something about it. In this situation, we witnessed this concept in action. This enables us to be proactive and respond to situations prior to an incident taking place. We want to thank our students, staff, and our local law enforcement that all play key roles in keeping our schools safe.
Avon Park Middle School was in the news in February 2018, when a teacher there was accused of sexual misconduct with a teenage student and child pornography. Kevin Dewberry, 44, was held on four counts of lewd behavior with a victim under 16 years of age. A 13-year-old female student alleged she had had a sexual relationship with Dewberry. In April 2019 it was reported that he might be seeking a plea agreement on the criminal charges for lewd and lascivious behavior.