Teacher suspended for bragging that he would 'be the best school shooter'

Elise Solé
A teacher is Florida allegedly told his class that he would be "the best school shooter." (Photo: Getty Images)
A teacher is Florida allegedly told his class that he would be "the best school shooter." (Photo: Getty Images)

A suspended math teacher allegedly boasted that he would be "be the best school shooter" with a "1,000 person body count.”

After a Friday lockdown drill at Lakeland Senior High School in Florida, math teacher Keith Cook — a former member of the U.S. Marines — shared a hypothetical plan.

According to a risk protection order (RFO) obtained by Fox 13 from the Lakeland Police Department, Cook said, “Said if he were a school shooter, he would be the best school shooter” because “he would plant IEDs” (a makeshift bomb), “fire a couple rounds...and boom, everyone would die.”

The Ledger reports that Lakeland Police Det. Justin Conatser wrote in the RFO, “He said he would have a 1,000-person body count and be a hero.”

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Among the handwritten student accounts, one read, “...It was very disturbing to hear.”

The Lakeland Police Department did not immediately respond to a records request from Yahoo Lifestyle.

According to Fox 13, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told the media, “If we conduct an investigation and we find the person is dangerous to themselves or someone else, i.e. with a firearm, we can petition the court — we can't unilaterally do this — and say, 'Hey, we need a timeout.' The court can give us a temporary risk protection order.”

Cook was taken to Lakeland mental health clinic Peace River Center, The Ledger reports.

On Wednesday, an automated message from the school was sent to parents, reported Fox 13. “Following Friday’s lockdown drill, a teacher described hypothetical acts of violence against the school and these comments were upsetting students.”

Weapons were not found at Cook’s home, reads the RFO, and Cook told police that his statements “were done jokingly.”

Polk County Public Schools did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s information request. Superintendent Jacqueline M. Byrd said in a press release, per Bay News 9, "Parents and students should be assured that we take any potential threat against our students and schools seriously. Student safety is — and always will be — paramount within our school district.”

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