Martin County High School student in 'Scream' costume disciplined after 'joke'

·3 min read

MARTIN COUNTY — A Martin County High School student is facing “administrative discipline” after investigators said he boarded a school bus Friday wearing a “Scream” costume, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.

Students on the bus grew concerned, and a school resource deputy was alerted. The student was taken off the bus, and investigators found a fake knife in his bag.

“He thought it was a prank. He thought it would be a funny, end-of-the-year joke,” Sheriff William Snyder said. “We don't see it that way.”

Friday was the last day of school before summer break.

While no criminal violations occurred, the Sheriff’s Office said the student will face School District discipline.

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“There's nothing in the modern era in America that has anything to do with violence that would be funny in a school environment,” Snyder said. “There's just nothing funny about it.”

Snyder said the 16-year-old student got on the bus “wearing the Scream mask, full uniform” and the school resource deputy was notified.

“Scream” is a franchise of horror movies that began being released in 1996. It's associated with a distinctive ghoulish mask and black, robe-type outfit.

The deputy met the teen and removed him from the bus and found the fake knife.

Snyder said he didn’t think the actions taken would be different had the mass shooting at a school in Texas not happened this week.

“I think we would not allow a child into the school with a Scream mask even without Texas, but with Texas as a background, the sense of anxiety I think is skyrocketing,” Snyder said.

Snyder said the teen did not bring a gun to school or cause any harm, but said it was a distraction for the administration and the school resource deputy.

“It’s inexplicable,” Snyder said. “Where in the recesses of this young person's mind did he think that this should be funny?”

Contacted Friday afternoon, Martin County Schools spokeswoman Jennifer DeShazo thanked the Sheriff's Office.

"We appreciate the men and women of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office for helping us investigate an extremely poor and inappropriate decision made by a student today," she wrote via email.

"We thank our families for being our partner in safety. Families are encouraged to continue talking with children about the importance of making good decisions, including on social media, as we approach summer break. We appreciate our law enforcement partners for their unwavering commitment to the safety of our students, employees, schools and community."

Discipline will proceed as outlined in our Code of Student Conduct and will depend on all factors uncovered as part of the school’s investigation into the incident, she said in her email.

Will Greenlee is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Will on Twitter @OffTheBeatTweet or reach him by phone at 772-267-7926. E-mail him at

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This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Martin County High School student wearing 'Scream' outfit disciplined