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Wewa student charged with writing bomb threat

Special to the Star

The investigation into a written bomb threat at Wewahitchka High School has led to charges, after Gulf County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded last week to the school following a threat discovered on a wall in the boy’s bathroom.

After discussions among Sheriff Mike Harrison, Superintendent Jim Norton and school officials, the discovery, at about 11 a.m. CT on Wednesday, Feb. 3, prompted the evacuation and immediate dismissal of students and staff at WHS.

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Due to the proximity of Wewahitchka Elementary School, and the logistical challenge presented of transporting students home, students and staff at the elementary school were also dismissed and classes cancelled for the remainder of the day.

No explosive devices were located during a search of the campus, which was assisted by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, and the school facility was later deemed safe, and schools resumed the following day.

On Feb. 4, investigators interviewed multiple students after reviewing video captured by the school’s surveillance system. Through the interviews, it was determined Jay Raymond Floyd Whitfield, 15, was responsible for writing the threat on the wall.

Whitfield informed an investigator that he wrote the threat in hopes of classes being cancelled for the remainder of the day.

“Parents, please sit down and talk to your kids about this incident,” said Sheriff Mike Harrison. “The threat of a human life, in this case the lives of over 400 students and staff, is a serious matter. This is not a game. These are real-life criminal charges that have long-term consequences.”

Whitfield was taken to the Bay Regional Juvenile Detention Center and charged with one count of threatening to discharge a destructive device, which is a second-degree felony, and one count of interference with school administration functions, which is a second-degree misdemeanor.