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12-year-old Columbia girl accused of threatening attacks at schools

A 12-year-old Columbia girl is facing multiple charges after allegedly threatening on social media “to commit shootings at various schools in Columbia,” Howard County police announced Wednesday.

A parent on Monday notified police about the posting made on Snapchat, a messaging app, and detectives traced the message to an account created by the girl, police said.

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While police said they found no evidence of a credible threat, and would not identify the schools named in the message, a schools spokesman said additional police were sent to the schools.

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A 10-year-old and two 14-year-olds are accused of armed robbery after Howard County police said they pulled a gun on another youth and stole his backpack in a Columbia park last month.

The girl, whose name was not released, was charged with making a threat of mass violence, disorderly conduct and disrupting school activities, according to police.

When asked if the girl has been released to the custody of her parents or guardians or is being detained, Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman, responded “this info is not available because she is charged as a juvenile.”

The school system declined to provide the girl’s grade.

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Schools spokesman Brian Bassett said principals from the schools named in the post sent emails to parents but would not name the schools.

“Howard County police takes threats against schools and other public institutions very seriously,” the police department said in a statement. “All students should be reminded of the serious nature of these types of threats, which are not considered ‘jokes’ and will result in criminal charges.”

Police said they did not have data readily available on the number of threats made against schools in the 2017-18 academic year. Snapchat did not reply to a request for comment.

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