Poplar Springs student getting help after threatening suicide, harming other students

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 6:45 PM CST
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HOLMES COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Sunday morning, Holmes County officials received a call regarding a possible threat made by an 11-year-old Poplar Springs student.

“We received a call through our dispatch center for the suicide hotline, stating they received a text from an individual that had stated they basically wanted to hurt themselves and also some kids at Poplar Springs School,” Holmes County Sheriff John Tate said.

When the Sheriff’s Office received the threat, NewsChannel 7 was told they notified the school district.

“At that time that put some safety procedures that we have into motion, where, of course, the Holmes County Sheriff’s Department, our school resource officers and our school staff began investigating,” Holmes County Superintendent of Schools Buddy Brown said.

Officials tell us around 5 p.m. Sunday, they were able to make contact with the student who allegedly sent the text. Law enforcement says the student was then Baker Acted and transported to Bay County to receive help from mental health professionals. According to Sheriff Tate, now that the student has been Baker Acted, he believes there is no longer a threat to other Poplar Springs students.

Officials say although this student is considered to be the perpetrator in this situation, she may also be a victim.

“Regardless of the age of the student, they’re not a 59-year-old male who has 59 years of experience in the world, that has developed coping skills,” Brown said. “They’re a child, a student, who in most cases, has no clue about coping skills.”

Holmes County does have mental health counselors in place to help prevent situations like these.

“The goal is not to try to Baker Act a kid if at all possible, so their plan is usually to try to get them on a mental health plan to see a psychiatrist or mental health counselor,” Tate said.

Officials encourage students to take advantage of these resources.

Sheriff Tate said this is an ongoing investigation and the student will be facing charges.

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