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Florida Man Makes Written Threat to Kill on Child’s Homework - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

Florida Man Arrested for Violent Drawing on Child’s Homework

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By Carlos Gamino

A Florida man is in custody after “making a written threat to kill or do bodily injury” by drawing a violent image on a child’s homework assignment. 

Authorities don’t know whether the man intended to carry out an act of violence, but the drawing really was terrifying. It depicted stick figures running from a burning school with a man firing a gun on students – and it was drawn on an elementary school child’s homework. The child attends Port St. Joe Elementary School in Gulf County, Florida.

After an investigation triggered by a School Resource Deputy calling police, authorities were convinced that it was Edwards who created the drawing – not the student on whose homework it appeared.

The 33-year-old, Robert Paul Alexander Edwards, was arrested in December, according to Gulf County Sheriff Mike Harrison. Harrison said that he doesn’t have a reason to believe that Edwards was going to carry through on the “implied threat,” but he added, “Our country has been affected one too many times with horrific school tragedies. We take matters like this very seriously.”

“This action was perceived as a potential threat and immediate action was the only recourse,” said Gulf County Schools Superintendent Jim Norton. “These matters will never be taken lightly and they may not be simply considered erring on the side of caution.”

In Florida, a conviction of that nature carries serious penalties – including jail time. It’s actually a second-degree felony (roughly equivalent to Wisconsin’s Class B felony). If Edwards is convicted, he could spend up to 15 years in prison.

What Do You Think?

What would you do if you saw a drawing like this on a child’s homework assignment? Do you think school administrators handled it properly, or should they have done something differently? I’d love to hear your take on this, so please share your thoughts on my Facebook page or join the conversation on Twitter.

Carlos Gamino