Florida high school student wears ‘Scream’ costume, brings fake knife to school

STUART, Fla. — A South Florida high school student thought it would be funny to wear a “Scream” costume as he boarded a bus on the final day of school.

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School officials were not laughing.

The student, who attends Martin County High School in Stuart, was taken off the bus Friday after a school resource deputy was contacted, TCPalm.com reported. Investigators found a fake knife in the backpack of the 16-year-old student, who now faces disciplinary action.

“He thought it was a prank. He thought it would be a funny, end-of-the-year joke,” Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told the news outlet. “We don’t see it that way.”

“Scream” is a horror slasher franchise that includes five films beginning in 1996, according to IMDb.com. The film also spawned a television series and has sold millions of dollars worth of merchandise, including games.

The student did not violate any laws by wearing the costume, but in the wake of Tuesday’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers, school officials said it was an inappropriate prank.

“We’re trying to look at this on balance,” Snyder told WPEC-TV. “We know it’s a young person, it wasn’t a real knife, it’s the last day of school, young people do things that are hard to imagine. And in today’s day and age and the environment we have, it’s completely inappropriate behavior.”

“We appreciate the men and women of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office for helping us investigate an extremely poor and inappropriate decision made by a student today,” Martin County Schools spokesperson Jennifer DeShazo told TCPalm.com via email. “We thank our families for being our partner in safety. Families are encouraged to continue talking with children about the importance of making good decisions, including on social media, as we approach summer break. We appreciate our law enforcement partners for their unwavering commitment to the safety of our students, employees, schools and community.”

Snyder said the teen, who has not been identified because he is a minor, did not bring a gun to school, but his actions heightened fears that have been sweeping the country about violence in schools.

“It’s inexplicable,” Snyder told TCPalm.com. “Where in the recesses of this young person’s mind did he think that this should be funny?”