THE VILLAGES, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Two middle schoolers are charged with conspiracy to commit murder after threatening to "shoot up the school" on Friday.
It happened at The Villages Charter Middle School. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office says fellow students told them the 13 and 14 year-old boys were discussing a plan for a Columbine-style attack on the school. They’d allegedly planned it for this Friday.
The report states that one of the students said that when he dropped a pencil during gym, that would be the signal to start shooting. Students who knew about the attack said they were told to wear white and shout "Eugene" as a safe-word so they wouldn't get shot.
Law enforcement later raided the boys’ homes and seized several guns. One parent at the school says he's proud of the students who alerted the police.
“I praise not only the students that reported it, but the parents that taught them to be aware of their surroundings and be aware of any dangers or unusual activity in the school,” said Ignacio Liunoras, who has two children in The Villages Charter schools.
He says these days, everyone's got to be vigilant. “We still have to look out for each other. Not only from kindergarten through twelfth grade, but as family, parents, faculty and staff as well,” Liunoras said.
The boys where sent for psych evaluations and then booked into juvenile detention. The sheriff's office says they'll have extra deputies patrolling the school on Friday.