A new member of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Explorers program, 16-year-old Kaitlyn Gennaro, was arrested this morning at her home in Palm Coast after an alert parent discovered text messages she sent to a classmate threatening to conduct a mass shooting — a felony under Florida Statute § 836.10.
A concerned parent who was monitoring her child’s text messages located a message her son received from Gennaro stating, “I feel like shooting up the school and then living in solitary confinement for the rest of my days.”
“It is very unfortunate that a person who showed interest in becoming a law enforcement officer would make threats of this kind. That is not a type of behavior tolerated by our Sheriff’s Explorers or anyone else for that matter,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I commend the parent who was doing the right thing and monitoring their child’s activity on their phone and saw this message and reported it. This type of parenting should be praised. We hope this student gets the help that she is crying out for.”
The Explorer program, designed to build strong relationships between teens and law enforcement officers while teaching participants about the law enforcement profession, immediately terminated Gennaro from the program following her arrest. Historic City News was informed that Explorer supervisors never observed any issues or had any problems with Gennaro while she was in the program.
Gennaro was taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility for processing and then transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach.
Sheriff Staly was clear that all threats of this nature will be investigated and taken seriously, even if the maker later claims to be “joking around”. The agency published a video “Make the Choice to Raise Your Voice” explaining the consequences students face should they decide to make threats of violence.