Warned of Mass Shooting on Boca Raton Campus, “18-Year-Old Mistake”

Florida Atlantic University has expelled an 18-year-old student because of a post he made on the Yik Yak smartphone application warning of a potential mass shooting on the school’s Boca Raton campus.

Emeil Tavon Stewart, Source: WPTV

Emeil Tavon Stewart, a freshman from Fort Meyers, wrote at 7:00PM Tuesday, September 8: “My friend just said he shooting up the breezeway and texted me a pic of a gun idk if he jokin.”

Stewart informed WPTV-NewsChannel 5 that he overheard an unidentified party on campus mention “shooting” and “breeze way” (the campus’ central walkway). Stewart says he was reluctant to contact campus police without more solid “evidence,” and thus attempted to inform students and gauge their response via social media.

Once Stewart made the post he told WPTV that he regretted in and attempted to remove it from Yik Yak but was unable to do so.

News media and university officials have spun the story differently, suggesting that Stewart himself was threatening to carry out a mass shooting.

For example, on September 10 Palm Beach Post article presented the story with the prefatory statement:

An 18-year-old student who university police and officials say threatened to shoot up the Florida Atlantic University campus won’t face charges.

Coverage in FAU’s student newspaper, the University Press, was similarly inaccurate.

Many posted about the additional campus officers in the Breezeway, the area the student said he would target in his post,” the UP reported. “Over Twitter, many of the students showed their relief that the shooter was found.

The Palm Beach Post‘s “news partner” WPTV gave the story a similar frame early on, creating fear by emphasizing “a threat–an online threat–to FAU’s campus.”

WPTV later updated its coverage by interviewing Stewart and identifying the incident as a “hoax.”

“I was trying to explain my situation (to police) but I also knew they would kick me out because they have to cover there [sic] own butt,” he later told WPTV reporters. “They have all this panic. They have to come up with something. … At no point did I make a threat. That is one thing I want to clarify.”

“I am not some psychopath,” Stewart continued. “I’m not trying to kill anyone. I understand why they had to pick me out because of the panic maybe. But to twist my story and say I am some Rambo-crazy lunatic about to light them up, that was wrong.”

The Yik Yak application allows users to post anonymously. FAU students alerted campus police after reading Stewart’s Yik Yak posting. Shortly thereafter Stewart called police and claimed authorship of the post. Police said they searched Stewart’s campus dorm room and found no gun. Police did not indicate if Stewart told them who the friend was that Stewart was referencing in his post.

FAU Police Chief Charles Lowe said that “this was absolutely an 18-year-old making a foolish and impulsive decision…”

Asked why Stewart wasn’t arrested, Lowe stated: “The bottom line was that once we were able to understand that this was not a serious threat and it was an 18-year-old mistake, we made the determination to refer it to student affairs…”

FAU then expelled the student, according to Corey King, vice president for student affairs. Stewart was issued a trespass notice from FAU police and warned that he would be arrested if he returns to campus.

“I hope this is an example to our students… of how a poor decision of a post on social media can lead to serious repercussions,” King said.

Stewart was in police custody for more than two hours before he was removed from campus.

King said Stewart was looking to get a “response” from fellow students.

“He learned quickly that students were reacting in a way that he had not anticipated,” King said.

“This was a pure act of bystander intervention,” King continued. “The immediacy of the students’ reports to us and the police allowed our law enforcement to immediately get involved and within a couple of hours had this under control.”

(KIng’s remarks are curious. Apparently a rumor begun by a well-intenioned yet indiscrete 18-year-old now requires severe police intervention and expulsion from the institution.)

Lowe said that more officers were patrolling around campus Wednesday, not because of any perceived threat, but to “make sure our community felt safe.”

In his Facebook profile, Stewart wrote that he was studying neuroscience at FAU and indicates he attended Charlotte High School and South Fort Myers High School.

The hysteria, inaccurate reportage and FAU’s drastic action of expelling the student over the entire affair is arguably a sign of just how paranoid our society has become. This is largely attributable to so many highly sensationalized (and often dubious) public shootings.

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

27 thought on “Florida Atlantic University Student Expelled for Social Media Post”
  1. Funny how “club” members like Hillary can wipe a server clean (destruction of evidence when under investigation) and still remain in the race with a simple “I’m sorry”, but non-club members get immediately expelled.

    Well this kid has learned a valuable life lesson – stay off “social media”.

  2. Why didn’t anything happen to the friend that text the message and the picture of the gun? Seems to me he started the whole thing. The other kid was reacting to that message wasn’t he? I think everyone is paranoid these days. A sign of the times and conditioning. Small things get blown up out of proportion and big things get yawned at.

  3. Took a gander at his faceboook and do not believe what is projected there is a real person. Two many likes on pages liked by millions in too short a time. A computer program could do that easily, but a real person could not be bothered.

    Nothing to note recently that indicates a real, black, male teenager.

  4. The Cincinnati Police Chief has recently been fired for, inter alia, creating a toxic wrokplace environment of hostility and retaliation. The report includes classic mobbing tactics such as threats and berating employees in front of their colleagues and others:


    Is this emblematic of the current workplace culture in police departments across the country? Is so, does this help to explain the recent rise in police shootings of unarmed civilians?

    1. I think that police should have to, while waiting for an actual crime to happen, take a porter’s broom and scoop, and sweep up streets and parking lots, in other words, make themselves useful, and in addition more humble as to their real position in life.

  5. Willy: Good Job Biff! If someone won’t start a false flag, start one yourself. I’m very proud of you.

    Biff: Thanks Dad! Want to go throw the football around?

    1. Me too, it reeks in here. They will be offering extra credit for snitches before you know it.

      Would there be a range of disciplinary actions between “good boy” and expulsion? What sort of process did he go through to have his side of the story heard?

      He may just be a dumb ass. I know lots of them with degrees. That said, when you consider that most (if not all) of these shootings are hoaxes, it follows that there really isn’t much cause for extra vigilance.

      It does, however, reinforce the meme that we live in a dangerous world and “lockdown drills” are necessary and normal. It also does a nice job of keeping the manufactured fear factor in the upper range.

      So, just like police executions, some “crimes” are now so onerous that due process is out of the question? I don’t know, obviously, about this individual, but if he committed a crime, arrest him. If not, what’s he being expelled for?

      This is just another facet of creating false “realities” and manufacturing new standards for responses to them. The media is right there performing their jobs of hyping the propaganda.

      1. Speaking of police executions: I am not happy about all the Support Your Police rallies that are being organized around the country to “stand up for police” after the recent shootings.

        The shootings were horrific examples of the violence that is running rampant BUT the last thing this country needs is a new round of Worship the Blue cheer leading.

        Good police officers are going to need to be involved in bringing the murderers in their ranks to justice. When the Thin Blue Line becomes more important than Rule of Law, they are ALL guilty as far I’m concerned.

        Not black lives, not police lives…ALL lives matters. When someone is gunned down, whether a cop or a civilian, I WANT JUSTICE. We are not getting it and I have no intention of standing up for the police unless and until there is a wholesale change of heart in dealing with the lawlessness in their ranks.

        I have been trying to find one example of a police department anywhere in the US that has organized a rally to commemorate or recognize innocents killed by police; I don’t expect to find any. The police refuse to recognize let alone remember the many innocents killed and injured by the police. I assume they think it would show weakness and be used against them.

        The many good officers are going to need to understand their lives are being put in danger by the bad apples who have carte blanche and go unpunished. Innocent officers will die because the murderers in the ranks are going unpunished. Standing with the police begins with standing with the victims of the police. With that, I refuse to voice support for law enforcement in this country.

      2. Social media is the new reality. Eventually, the Supreme Court will rule that, like yelling fire in a crowded building, saying anything incendiary via, text, tweet, what have you, joke or not, will be inflammatory speech. Eventually, everyone will have to shut up, be nice, and shut up some more.

  6. Great find and well worth reporting on. At first, my reaction was to think there was story twisting going on at each opportunity by the authorities, the school and the media. Even the “retractions,” “clarifications” and story follow-ups just couldn’t get it right. The reader would still take away that this young man had made threats to shoot up a school on social media.

    When perusing his Facebook account, I scanned down to the 5th. He posted the message on the 8th, but 3 days earlier he shared this…


    Mind you, it was someone else that created the meme. Still, it points to his mindset just prior to sending his “controversial message.” Maybe he, too is story twisting? Crazy. Having difficulty identifying where the real threats are among all the shenanigans.

  7. My son has a 16 y.o. friend who recently moved to a house where his new bedroom directly overlooks his school. The friend posted a photo of the school as seen from his bedroom window to his Instagram account, with the hashtag “school shooting”. Within a couple of hours of posting, the kid’s mother was contacted by DHS, and a meeting with mom, the kid, and the school principal was set up for the next day.

    The kid was let off with a stern warning (he really was just trying to be funny) by DHS, and he got a 2-day suspension from school. He’s lucky he wasn’t expelled or worse. It’s scary…and sickening…how closely we’re monitored. Oy.

  8. I’m confused. What happened to the friend that made the threat? Or did Stewart make up the whole thing as a joke?

    If he texted about a real person making some type of threat there is no way in hell he should be expelled.

    On the other hand, if he made up the story, then yes he should be expelled.

    The coverage is not clear.

    What I do know is that Florida is hyper vigilant responding to threats to schools. Lock down drills are common place throughout the State. And the majority of parents have no problem with the inconvenience it may cause their children.

    Most High Schools and Middle Schools are surrounded by 10 ft chain link fences. Picking up a child requires filling out forms, ID and a photograph. Automated texts or phone calls are generated if your child is absent or misses a class. It is a prison like environment. It disturbed me, but not the students.

    It is Orwellian but parents are afraid and want their children safe.

    1. Great Point. WHO texted him the pic of Gun and all. But as you may notice, that will never be an issue and no one seems too care.

      Same with Rick Thorne in SHES. An eye witness and the one who made the 911 call. I went nuts saying “get that boy”, crickets

      No one cares in these all these blogs……IMO

      Every time I’ve pushed the facts I’m told it’s not important.


      1. I’m in Mod again so I have a little Song.

        This is to “Slip Sliding Again” from Paul Simon era like 1972 ish. Google for melody.

        Here we Go.

        Still Mod’en again
        Still Mod’en again
        you know before I pushed reply I knew
        I’d be mod’en again


        Still Mod’en again
        Still Mod’en again
        you know before I pushed reply I knew
        I’d be mod’en again


        G to Em C and D

    2. “I’m confused. What happened to the friend that made the threat? Or did Stewart make up the whole thing as a joke?”

      All will avoid that simple conclusion on any blog.

  9. In the real world of today, if this legal adult’s post caused enough of a stir to warrant significant police reaction, he would have been charged with some kind of falsification.

    The fact that the police said, “no harm, no foul” does not ring true, given that his actions were deemed serious enough to be expelled from the University.

    This is a bit of a head scratcher, given what little we know. Unless the police have found a use for him.

Leave a Reply