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Fake Gun. Real Fear. Small Consequence: A Mother’s Outrage at Flagler Schools’ Response

| May 1, 2012

They call it air-soft.

On Tuesday evening, Gloria Kollosch, waving the image of a gun, appeared before the Flagler County School Board to describe the incident related below–the pulling of a gun, which turned out to be fake, on her son and his friend, near Matanzas High School, by another student at the school–and share her outrage at the minimal consequence. “No one is taking this lightly, and we are working through steps of what we are going to do to let students know the seriousness of this,” Superintendent Janet Valentine told Kollosch this evening.

By Gloria Kollosch

“It was only a joke.” “I didn’t think that they were serious.” “I never thought they would do it.” Sounds familiar? These are some of the statements made by friends after school shootings. The bottom line is: no one takes it seriously.  This parent is trying to take it seriously. It seems like no one else does.

On March 2, my son and a friend had just left Matanzas High School to go home on their bikes.  They had an encounter with some fellow students on Forest Grove Drive within sight of the school where one boy thought a vehicle had passed too close, blowing a horn as the vehicle passed.  This boy was upset by the encounter. He gave the carload of students a universal sign of displeasure.

What happened next is very troubling. The car continued on to Palm Harbor Parkway and turned down another road, near a school bus stop, and waited for the boys to approach. As they got closer, a gun was pointed out of the car window and pointed at one of the two boys. Both boys saw the gun.

Do I have your attention?  It got the boys’ attention, who thought they were going to be shot at, and it got mine.  I was away for training when this incident took place and my son was staying with the other boy’s family.  I heard about it that Sunday night when I returned home.

After being told what had happened I was informed by the other family that the Sheriff’s Office said that only I could place charges against the youths who were involved.

Gloria Kollosch

It should be noted that the deputy that Saturday notified the parents where my son was staying that police had retrieved the gun from the driver of the car. It turned out to be an air-soft gun. But the boys did not know this. Their fear was real. They thought the gun was real. (The Sheriff’s Office initially left the school out of it until I described the time of day and where the incident happened. The Sheriff’s Office then agreed to notify the school.)

The next day I was at Matanzas before school started and spoke to the principal, the dean, and the school resource officer.  The boys told their stories. School officials were left to investigate.  I will say that the school accomplished more in one hour than the Sheriff’s Office accomplished in three days.  The school had confessions and knew who was involved.  We were assured that action would be taken, such as suspension and removal from the school. I signed the charging paperwork for those involved.

I finally heard back from the Sheriff’s shift involved six days after the initial incident. I was told the boys involved with the gun were only charged with a misdemeanor (Florida Statue 790.10 Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms).  Because the young men involved were only being charged with a misdemeanor, I was informed by the school that the young men were both going to be reinstated to the school immediately.

The list of prohibited items on page 24 of the school district's Code of Conduct. Click on the image for larger view.

I was stunned. The school board seems to have a selective policy. The 2011-2012 Code of Student Conduct states that “The Florida Board of Education has established a Zero Tolerance Policy on school violence, crime, and the use of weapons as a part of a comprehensive approach to reducing school violence.” Further on the policy addresses “Firearms/Weapons in Vehicles on School Property,” stating: “It is the policy of the School District of Flagler County Florida, that any student shall not bring any firearm or weapon, including replicas, onto school property.” (Emphasis added.)

The driver of the car admitted that the gun was in his car on school property and that the incident took place immediately following school at a bus stop, with not enough time to go to another home to retrieve it. The list of prohibited items on page 24 of the Code of Conduct begins with “Air-Soft Guns,” and notes at the top of the list: “Possession of these items may result in suspension, alternative placement, expulsion, and/or criminal charges being filed.”


Audio: Gloria Kollosch Addresses the School Board
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The Code of Conduct makes it just as clear in the glossary’s definition of assault: “An intentional threat by word or act to do violence to another person, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, or doing some act that creates a well-founded fear in another person that such violence is imminent without subjecting him or her to physical attack.” (Emphasis added.)

I want to know: if a school system has a zero-tolerance policy, then why is this incident being tolerated? I called the school board to request to be put on the agenda to bring up these issues and I received a call back from Ms. Townsend, Director of Student Services, in which she tried to explain to me how the district reached its decision. One thing she said was that it was a joke. Sounds familiar? A joke to whom? Not to me. Not to my son or his friend or his family. Who decided it was a joke? The boys who were involved in the pointing of the gun? She then corrected herself to say that there was no intent to harm. Who decided this? When you have a gun pointed at you and the fear is real, the intent is real. Then she said it was “only a teenager prank.” Prank? Sorry, but no. A prank is something like toilet-papering a lawn, not pointing a gun at another person.

I went on to explain that my son could’ve been seriously injured if he had veered into traffic thinking he was dodging a bullet. Remember: he thought the gun was real. Even as it wasn’t, he could, because of his fear, have been struck by a very real car on Palm Harbor Parkway. Worse yet: what if there had been an off-duty law enforcement officer or a person with a concealed weapons permit there, and that weapon had been pulled? What you would have then is a dead boy. They don’t need to ask how old you are, whether the gun is loaded or whether it’s real.  What you have is a situation where no one is taking it seriously except for me and the parents of the boy who had the gun pointed at them.

Why isn’t the school system taking this seriously? Why do they dismiss it as nothing but a joke? Dismissing these types of jokes has left many an innocent student dead.

I was never allowed to be put on the agenda instead I was told I can have 3 minutes to bring it up during the Public time.  Maybe then I might get some answers but then again they might think it all a joke.

Gloria Kollosch, a Palm Coast parent, is an NRA certified Rifle, Shotgun, Pistol, and Home Safety Instructor, and an NRA certified Range Safety officer.

Flagler County Schools: Code of Conduct

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72 Responses for “Fake Gun. Real Fear. Small Consequence: A Mother’s Outrage at Flagler Schools’ Response”

  1. Cheryl says:

    The boys with the “FAKE” gun need a good old fashioned ass-whooping with a REAL leather belt. Hard and long enough so they can’t sit for a week.

  2. knowsalittle says:

    The FCSB lifting the rug and sweeping the nasty stuff under.

  3. Blah says:

    Cry baby the sheriffs office has more important things to deal with

    • Anonymous says:

      Really? Would you be calling the parent a cry baby if it was a real gun? Schools and parents ate getting to lax on children. No wonder there is so much violence, bullying, pregnancies and more. If that had been my child, I would have blistered the behind.

    • Jon Hardison says:

      No, actually they don’t. The boys with the fake gun were inches from death and didn’t even know it. If the Sheriff’s office was working more of these there’s probably be a lot less of the other Palm Coast gun news we’ve been getting.

      This is serious. This is NOT a joke. Those boys need a year out of a normal school and a firearm safety class so they understand what happens when you do what they did.

      Walk into a bank with your finger in your pocket like a gun and jokingly ask the teller for all the money. She what the Sheriff’s office charges you with.

    • John Doe says:

      The sheriffs office DOES deal with stuff like this, the boys who pointed the gun should be expelled from school and arrested for assualt

  4. ANONYMOUSAY says:

    I can guarantee the whole group, victims and perps fit the “All American Boy” description. Otherwise Swat, expulsion’s and everything else would have been thrown at them. No retaliation is good but this Mom needs to remind her son not to write checks his butt can’t cash. This isn’t the good ole days of fair fist fights shake hands and move on. You flip someone off, curse them out, give them the wrong look and that can be all it takes for a person to lose it like a caged animal. If one isn’t willing to lose their life or take another’s or go to jail it’s better to suck up the insult look straight ahead and move on. Life can be short if you unzip the wrong straight jacket.

  5. Bruno says:

    I almost hit an idiot on a bicycle yesterday who thought he could ride in the middle of the road and block traffic. I asked him to please move to the side of the road were he suppose to be. He told me ” do go F-myself. Being a bit upset, I slowly pulled up next to him and told him I don’t carry guns, I carry a fatal disease, at which time I proceeded to SPIT on him. You should have seen that idiot trying to wipe it off with his hat…….

    • Eric says:

      “In Florida the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle. Bicyclists have the same rights to the roadways […]” {http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/bikelaw.html}

      Note: A bicycle is supposed to stay as far to the right in most cases but:

      “A bicyclist may leave the right-most portion of the road in the following situations: when passing, making a left turn, to avoid road hazards, or when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and a car to share safely.”

      I wasn’t there and didn’t see the road conditions at the time. I don’t even know where this happened. But the fact that he was in the middle of the road doesn’t mean he was an idiot or shouldn’t have been there. Please respect those of us who do ride our bikes. Often there aren’t safe sidewalks or designated bike lanes and we are forced to share common space with automobiles. Many of us would avoid this if at all possible because when a car and a bicycle collide, the bicyclist in always the loser.

      A little patience, understanding, and kindness goes a long way. The biker certainly could have responded better to your misbehavior but that doesn’t make you look any better.

    • jespo says:

      In other words, like a child you couldn’t control your emotions and you committed an assault….and this you’re proud of? You’re no better than the others we read about committing crimes after ‘getting annoyed’.

      • Jon Hardison says:

        Agreed. “Everything the ‘idiots’ do is so horrible I’m completely justified hocking lungies at them.”
        We forget ourselves and it’s just so sad.

    • Dontbesoparanoid says:

      If what you say is true, by spitting on someone you committed the crime of Battery.

  6. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Certainly the incident was serious, and the fake gun totting idiot will certainly be taught a very valuable lesson, after all he is facing a serious misdemeanor, which will have serious repercussions for years to come. Should his life now be ruined by this serious lapse in judgment?

    In addition, I can’t help but at to the author’s lists of “what if’s”… What if her son hadn’t given the carload of students a universal sign of displeasure?

    • Gloria Kollosch says:

      Johnny, I am the author of this piece and to clarify it was not my son who gave the universal sign of displeasure but the other boy with him and yes, before it is asked, the parents did talk to him.

      But regardless of that it doesn’t warrant having a gun pointed at you.

  7. PC Dad says:

    This stinks like a coverup. Wonder what the prankster’s last name is?

    This truly sets a dangerous precedent. If my child brings a fake gun to school, pulls it on someone, gets caught with it and claims it was a “harmless prank” – I expect that ABSOLUTELY NOTHING will happen to them. Thank you school board!

    This should be revisited by the school board. Andy or Colleen, have the backbone to deal with it.

  8. PalmCoast says:

    WOW!! seems to be all that comes to mind after reading this story!! Why is nothing being done by FCSO or FCSB???

  9. Carol says:

    My daughter and 2 of her friends were not only suspended for starting a food fight in the cafeteria, but she was no longer allowed to attend Matanzas. She was sent to Pathaways and had to do community service. I think the same, if not worse should happen to these boys, not swept under the rug. A boy that attended FPC hung a noose in the doorway of a classroom and was expelled and nothing is going to happen to this boy? That is unexcusable and Matanzas High School Administrators as well as the Flagler County School Board, should not only be ashamed of themselves for overlooking this, but obviously they don’t have children of their own. How would they feel if it happened to their child and the district “overlooked” it and said it was “just a joke”?

  10. Liana G says:

    I am not at ALL suprised by the actions of THIS school district. Funny how the district sees this incident as a joke when it is kids on kids, but heaven forbid if it was against a school offical; they would be raising cane and holding MULTIPLE school board meetings ranting against unruly kids and bad parents, especially if the kid was from a poor family. This kid is obviously not, since he has a car. And possibly connections?

    States need to step in and take over direct control and running of all school districts. School districts at the local level are the most corrupt and incompetent because of too much cronyism, nepotism, and special interest contracts and favors.

  11. palmcoaster says:

    Totally improper ruling from the FCSO and the FCSB…shame. Prank or not prank, policies are to be enforced and not misinterpreted or misenforced and stop the usual cover ups..

  12. Meh says:

    Why would you flick off a car full of people and expect nothing to happen? He’s lucky there was not a real gun and a real thug.

    I’ve been told the boys on the bikes knew the boys driving the car and it was not as threatening as this outraged mother is making it out to be. Who k ows tho.

    • Angry Mom says:

      Really??? You must not be a parent..

    • Gloria Kollosch says:

      Yes, my son could ID the driver of the car meaning he knew who he was but he didn’t “KNOW” him. They attended the same schools over the years but were not ever friends with the them (they never hung out together, ate lunch together, played sports together, they didn’t have the same circle of friends, etc). It’s like saying I could ID the Mayor but that doesn’t mean we are friends or have any association with them.

      I would like to know who you talked to to know that my son didn’t feel threatened. His fear was real, he didn’t know that it was a fake gun. The other parents saw his fear. For over 24 hours they thought it was a real gun. I hope that something like this never happens to you or someone you love and able to dismiss it so easily.

      • meh says:

        what i also don’t understand is, why after the boys flipped off this car, they continued to ride their bikes in the direction of the stopped “gunmen’s” car, since they were so terrified.. and where does it say in the student code of conduct that you’re allowed to ride your bike in the road and give people the bird?

        don’t think i condone what happened, but there are too many things that don’t make sense. also, you failed to mention all the kids knew each other at the board meeting you spoke at. at the board meeting it kind of made out to sound like a random confrontation at a bus stop. and the identifying the mayor statement… not really the same scenario at all.

        for the record, yes i am a parent, and my child knows not to flip off moving cars, or anybody for that matter, as to not knowing if there is a psycho behind the wheel with a gun…

  13. Sherry Epley says:

    This smacks loudly of a cover up! How in the world do the members of the school board expect to keep any scrap of credibilty if they don’t consistantly enforce their own rules? Wake up board members. . . you have a huge responsibility as educators here! What message is this lack of enforcement sending to the kids, the community, and to our society in general? So now, “zero tolerance” only applies when someone is actually injured or killed? Or, is it when their family/friends are not influential enough?

    Why should we, now, be forced to live in a place where we cannot disagree with someone for fear of being gunned down? Pulling and pointing any thing that even looks like a gun should not be acceptable in a civilized culture. This situation is just another symptom of our sadly deterorating civilization in Florida and in the USA, as a whole. . . very distressing!

  14. Wondering says:

    PC Dad, you hit the nail on the head. Shouldn’t be that hard to find out, right? Quite sure there’s precedents where others who have done the exact same thing experienced a far different outcome. I wonder if a teen decided to play a prank on a bank with a toy gun, just for fun no real harm intended, would have this same standard applied?

  15. B. Claire says:

    The boys with the “FAKE” gun need a good old fashioned ass-whooping with a REAL leather belt. Hard and long enough so they can’t sit for a week.
    ……….Oh yeah, that will lead to a less violent future…for that kid…NOT!

    I carry a fatal disease, at which time I proceeded to SPIT on him. You should have seen that idiot trying to wipe it off with his hat…….
    ……….Oh yeah, that will lead to a less violent future… and possibly legal action. YES!

    In addition, I can’t help but at to the author’s lists of “what if’s”… What if her son hadn’t given the carload of students a universal sign of displeasure?
    ……….Oh yeah, early ‘Stand Your Ground’ defense for whatever stupid thing the fake gun holder would do if a real gun.

    Legal punishment looks like: (e) $500, when the conviction is of a misdemeanor of the second degree or a noncriminal violation. School punishment should be maximum …not ignored to minimum response.

    More GUN IDIOCY… fake or otherwise. Never quite enough for our current gun idiocy culture.

  16. tulip says:

    It would be interesting to see how this played out on tv news

  17. Shauna Ordonez says:

    Last April, my 11 year old son, attending Phoenix Academy at the time, was not only suspended, but EXPELLED, by School Board decision, for taking air soft pistols in his backpack on the bus to show his friends. He never threatened anyone with them; he wasn’t facing a threatening encounter with anyone and using them as “protection”. Zero-tolerance policy needs to be THE SAME for every student!

  18. David says:

    Growing up around firearms my whole life and being a avid hunter, this is no way to display a firearm weather it is fake or real. This kid should be required to go through a NRA course in handling and owning firearm and understand the legal and pride in owning a firearm.

  19. Angry Mom says:

    This is another example of How Flagler County School District fails to protect children..Katrina Townsend would not concider it to be a joke if it were her child..Call the Department of Civil Rights make another complaint like I did FORCE THEM TO DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!

  20. B. Claire says:

    Re: need a good old fashioned ass-whooping with a REAL leather belt. Hard and long enough so they can’t sit for a week.

    Wondered what is the ‘child abuse’ line here in Florida.

    Shocked at how barbaric [without civilizing influences], but after living here for several years, shouldn’t have been:

    FLORIDA Law concerning child abuse:”Harm to a child occurs when the parent or other person responsible for the child’s welfare inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional injury. The following factors must be considered in evaluating any injury: prior injuries; location; multiplicity; and type of trauma. Such injury include, but are not limited to willful acts that produce the following specific injuries: sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage; bone or skull fractures; brain or spinal cord damage; intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs; asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning; injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon; burns or scalding; cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites; permanent or temporary disfigurement; or permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function. “Willful” refers to the intent to perform an action, not to achieve a particular result or an intent to cause an injury.

    P.S. Even though it may be in vain, would report anyone smacking around anyone smaller than themselves to the police. Their job to make the evaluation.

  21. Gloria Kollosch says:

    Meh: You said “Why would you flick off a car full of people and expect nothing to happen.”

    What are we as parents teaching our kids today? I’m not making an excuse for the boy who gave the gesture but are we as parents teaching our kids that when someone does this it calls out for another action? I hope not. What happened was more than a flick and an immediate aiming of the gun, these boys drove for a short period of time and laid in wait for them to come by again. That showed intent.

  22. SSDD says:

    Come on really? The school board has more important things to think about. Student safety isn’t a priority, uniforms are… Just think, next year when everyone is dressed the same, this type of thing won’t happen because the uniforms are going to cut down on school violence. Isn’t that right FCSB Members???? I mean wasn’t that John Fisher’s argument, right before his wife hit and killed a woman and covered it up???

  23. R_sec_resident says:

    This is a very serious situation and you have every right to be angry that this was done to your child, I think your issue here should be with the FCSO. It took place on a public road and not on school district property. It was a reckless, stupid act by the offender and they need to be prosecuted for their actions but in my opinion this is not school district business. They committed a crime and need to be punished for it but the punishment has to fit the crime and when you look to the school district to prosecute them because you’re not pleased with how the FCSO handled it then you’re jeopardizing their future by possibly keeping them from getting a college education due to this one stupid act. I’ve personally witnessed several friends lives altered forever because of something they did outside of school that found a way to not only be tried in Flagler Counties courts but also in Flagler County Schools. These were bright, athletic, polite young men and now they are this communities bottom dwellers. I’m not blaming their lives outcomes on the school district, but when we blur the lines between school business and sherrifs office business the crime is usually eclipsed by the punishment. I’m now 40 years old and every once in a while I get to see a living, breathing reminder of how damaging it can be when this school district makes FCSO’s business their own.

    • Gloria Kollosch says:

      R_sec: From the Code of Conduct it says: “You are expected to behave at school, during school activities, on the school bus, and at the school bus stop. You will be disciplined if you do anything at school (or attempt to do anything), during school activities, on the school bus, or at the school bus stop that violates a school rule or may hurt, harass, or threaten others; damage property; disrupt class or school; or violate a criminal law.”

      The incident took place at a school bus stop immediately following school. The board came to their decision not to pursue it because my son and his friend were not bus riders–regardless of the fact that bus riders may have been present. The driver of the car admitted that the gun was in his car on school property during school hours also a violation of the Code of Conduct. I’m not looking for the school to prosecute them, I did that through the FCSO, but I am asking that they follow their rules.

      One final thing, I did not jeopardize their future, I am not keeping them from getting an education, they did that on their own and to blame the victims for their actions is ludicrous.

  24. Yellowstone says:

    OK! I get it . . .

    I can now walk into any PC bank with a fake gun, threaten the teller, and get away with no more than a misdemeanor.!!??

    That’s as good as the license to kill “Stand Your Ground Law”.

    Am I now in a third world country?

    BTW (and WTF) does the school have to do with this? This is a street crime. Come on folks, this is another outrage.

    Are we going to put up with this . . . ?

  25. JUST WONDERING says:

    This is our school board at their finest. Maybe Sue Dickenson was to busy with a style show to review this issue?
    Real gun, fake gun does not matter the results were to make these children fearful and they accomplished that.
    Since they got away with very little reprimand, I wonder what they will do next time and there will be a next time since they got away with it this time.
    I wonder what the kids in the cars names were? I realize as minors they are protected and should be but it does make you wonder.

  26. ric says:

    Spare the rod spoil the child.. You really don”t expect our shcool board to do anything?? They’re too busy patting each other on the back for their ego trip they’re on and don’t care..

  27. B. Claire says:

    This thread has identified 12 reasons why this area of this county is OUT OF CONTROL:

    12 of you, so far, say yeah. I LIKE this solution …beating the crap out of this kid…give him:

    a good old fashioned ass-whooping with a REAL leather belt. Hard and long enough so they can’t sit for a week.

    How’s this working for what was a lovely little town. Can’t have ignorance like this move in and remain the charming town it USED to be.

    • Jon Hardison says:

      When was that? The only difference between ‘then’ and ‘now’ is that now it’s a lot easier to find out about this crap. Back then you had no real way to know. This site is ‘basically’ the only real news coverage we have. This place, like any other, has always had its problems.

      It’s comments like this one that start the little divides. Why not start by holding the kids responsible? I promise you the new residents didn’t do this or contribute to it and they like it just as ‘not-at-all’ as you. We just all need to get on board and do what we can to make sure local law enforcement does what we pay them to do, and that our elected officials do what we elected them to do. It’s that simple.

      Geez!

  28. gator says:

    all the boys both side and the parents thinks that their kids don’t do that stuff well maybe if the parents on both side is taken to jail, mybe they can teach their kidds not to do stuff like that (YES) both parents.cause the fingler the same thing, asking for trouble them selfs .they learn it at home ……beat their butts my help.and the parents,

  29. Bin key says:

    If the student who displayed the air soft had the air soft at school the school has the responsibility of disciplining him for that. How do we know the school did not discipline him? I don’t think the schools tell what discipline actions they take to anyone except the parents or legal guardians of the student who is disciplined. (I could be wrong about ).

    The displaying of the air soft in a threatening manner is a FCSO issue. They charged him with a misdemeanor. Since it was not a felony, I believe the school has a ten day limit on suspension. If the school was looking at expulsion I believe due process has to be followed and an expulsion meeting would have to be held.

  30. GoodFella says:

    See, this all could have been solved if the boys riding the bikes would have had a real gun, JK. Yes, a good old fashioned butt whiping is what these young kids need nowadays. That is whats wrong with this young generation, they have no discipline because the state has taken away a parent ability to use a little tender love. And this is still a lovely little town, just has a few bad apples.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Why does every thing half to be the FCSB fault ? kids get into a lot of things on their home , things like breaking and entering or just plain out stealing things, is this the school boards fault? I Think not ! charges have been filed against the boy but still yet so many peoople on this board are seeking blood from every direction they can come up with, there is a lot more to this story than has not been written by the mother on here, fact is the boys did know each other and boys will be boys as we all now. this sounds more like a law suit n the makings more than any thing else to me.
    as to the person that spit at the guy on the bike I would say you were Very lucky he did not have a real gun .

    • Gloria Kollosch says:

      @Anonymous, Like I said in another post the boys did not “know” each other in the aspect that they were friends at one time, they didn’t have the same circle of friends, they didn’t hang out together, each lunch together, hang out, play sports together. They could ID them but they have no interaction with them. How many people did you “know” in school but did not have an association with? Boys will be boys? Really? Sorry but when it comes to gun safety there is a line and the other boys crossed it. It was done to instill fear and terror. This was not a spur of the moment action. They laid in wait to re-encounter the boys. I have taken the stand because of the real possiblity that someone could’ve lost their life.

      And to your response to the comment about the guy on the bike…..why, as a society, do we feel it is okay to counter one action with a more severe one?

      There is more to the story, I didn’t go into how there was also a 3rd encounter that took place with my son that day after the gun was pulled (I didn’t bring up the 3rd encounter to the school board because it had taken place after the police responded and well after school had finished for the day) and I didn’t go into how I spoke to a parent of each boy. How the mother of one showed up at my door after going to the other boy’s home, how the father of the other boy blames me and also the school resource officer.

      • Kay says:

        Ms. Gloria, again, the incident DID NOT happen on school property. As for the toy gun being in the vehicle, perhaps the school needs to hire someone to search the students vehicles as they arrive to school, metal detecters in all doorways, when does it end. its bad enough that a young woman, who was to be the validictorian of her class, left a steak knife on her car seat while moving, and a nosy, excuse me, a industrious security person saw it, reported it and she was expelled.

        I am not exactly sure what you want done, perhaps a public flogging? Jail time with hardened criminals?

        I know the parents, they expect the boys to be punished, they were horrified that they did something stupid. What they didn’t expect was you making a public spectical out of this incident.

        I guess most people don’t recall some of the stupid decisions they made when they were young, looking back later in life thinking, glad they were not caught or God forbid my child does something like that. It’s not boys will be boys, it’s children will be children. We as parents show our children the path on life to take, but can’t always be there when they choose.

        Your concern for your child is commendable, but the other parents are just as concerned as you, if not more so, while the incident is over for your son, thanks to you it is only beginning for the other boys.

        Oh and great job of publicly harassing the schoolboard members, not sure this is a great example of parenting skills.

        • Gloria Kollosch says:

          Kay,
          First not everything has to take place on school property. The school will remove a student if they are charged with a felony for any action off school property.
          What you don’t understand if that FCSO agreed it involved the school and the school initially said it involved them. It was only after that the charge was found out to be a misdemeanor that the school backed off from involvement. I also hope that you never have to experience the terror that they went through from having a “toy” pointed at you. What you don’t understand is there are many airsoft guns that look like the real thing. Every year it seems like someone is shot when displaying these “toys”, so don’t try to minimize it.

          I went after the school board because of the flaws in the code of conduct, the comments made by a representative of the district and most of all for not informing the teachers about the incident. The teachers would have been on the lookout for any retaliation. As to the parents…..only the parent of the driver showed any concern about what happened and only her son apologized to my and my son, which is why I went to the DA to support a diversion program for her son, the father of the pointer was another story. No apology only accusations about how I or the school resource officer was at fault. No acknowledgement of wrong doing whatsoever about his son’s actions. He even asked me what HE needed to do to make this go away. I told him that because I teach gun safety and it involved a gun and was used to scare them that I wasn’t inclined to forget it nor drop it.

          You’re welcome….you see one of the things I tried to explain to both parents was in the case of school shootings was that someone always knew in advance and did nothing. I told them that if I ignored their actions this time and awhile down the road one or both did something along the same lines and didn’t have the same outcome than I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror knowing that I could’ve done something then to make them wake up about their actions.

          I do not agree with the comment about children being children…..both were less than 2 yrs from being legal adults. We say that they have the maturity to operate a vehicle on their own then they should also be able to accept responsiblity for their actions.

          As for my parenting skills—I believe, and from the support I received from others supporting me, have shown the proper parenting skills. I did not hide my head in the sand, I stood up for what I believed to be right and in the process showed my son the proper way to have their voice heard.

  32. B.Claire says:

    GoodFella,
    RE: That is whats wrong with this young generation, they have no discipline because the state has taken away a parent ability to use a little tender love.

    A little TENDER LOVE, eh?

    The fact that IN FLORIDA you can BEAT YOUR CHILD …. and your ONLY RESTRICTION IS that you don’t beat them to the point where you inflict:

    a. Sprains, dislocations, or cartilage damage.

    b. Bone or skull fractures.

    c. Brain or spinal cord damage.

    d. Intracranial hemorrhage or injury to other internal organs.

    e. Asphyxiation, suffocation, or drowning.

    f. Injury resulting from the use of a deadly weapon.

    g. Burns or scalding.

    h. Cuts, lacerations, punctures, or bites.

    i. Permanent or temporary disfigurement.

    j. Permanent or temporary loss or impairment of a body part or function.

    k. Significant bruises or welts.

    “Willful” refers to the intent to perform an action, not to achieve a particular result or an intent to cause an injury.

    Any state that has citizens that need this kind of GUIDANCE [?] is screwed up beyond all normal, intelligent, civilized awareness. Once again it’s a state that has not participated in normal life since about 1950.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Its not the schools place in this incedent to take action. it is the FCSO place to take action eithe by placeing the kid under arest or maybe just a visit to their homes would be enough. Also lets not go to all the what ifs maybes lets deal in just what did happen

    • flaglermomofone says:

      I completely agree with you on this! This didn’t happen at school or on school property so why is the mother blaming the school for not disciplining the teens that pulled the fake gun? If I understand correctly, FCSO is charging the students. Yes, I agree that this could have ended up much much worse than what it did but you can’t blame MHS or FCPS for not taking the action you want them to… it didn’t happen on school property. In my opinion, the school district did MORE by even investigating the incident.

      It seems lately that parents are pushing blame on school districts for things that PARENTS should be doing. PARENTS need to start raising their children properly and stop trying to pin the blame on everyone but themselves.

  34. C says:

    “Boys will be boys” is a statement that accepts and condones the behavior. Without taking action and enforcing consequence you have lost all authority.

    How safe will students feel, when they are sitting next to them in class in a few days? What is a high school kid doing with a “toy” anyways and why are these “toys” able to be marketed and sold to children? If they feel a need to have this now, is this an indication they will have or want a real one in the future?

    WHO at the school wants to accept responsibility for the next REAL incident?

    “I thought they were joking.”

  35. B.Claire says:

    Hi xenith,

    Thank you for your post.
    May 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    Beating children only causes them to be more aggressive with their own behavior and is probably a precursor to this very incident and this publication:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1983895,00.html

    How horrified I am that it appears that at least 18 posters go home and beat the living daylights out of their much smaller children. Between that, and my posting of FL statute 39.01 (2)…it’s like we are living in a 19th Century time warp.

    Like you said…very feasible precursor to violence begetting violence, generation after generation of parents too lazy to formulate a much more effective way to deal with discipline. Welcome to the sad picture of how that’s working for Palm Coast.

  36. Jordyn says:

    There have been many articles over the years at various schools across the country with “zero tolerance” policies where a teacher or school resource officer would spot a kitchen knife or some other implement in a student’s car in the parking lot, and the student would be suspended/expelled/held out of graduation/etc. “Zero tolerance” policies are bad policies, and they hurt more than they help. Regardless, without a school official witnessing the presence of the airsoft gun on school property, they’re not going to be able to make a suspension or expulsion stick if it is challenged in court.

    It sounds like the school got to the bottom of the incident almost immediately. It sounds like the students who pointed the gun are idiots and deserve the misdemeanor charge. It sounds like the parents of those same students are also idiots who didn’t bother to teach their children that actions have consequences so now they can all learn to think before they act. It wouldn’t hurt the boy who flipped off the car to think a little also, though I think most of us have done the same thing in traffic, right or wrong. It sounds like FCSO may have been a little slow on the jump, but eventually got there.

    I would be angry if it happened to my son – I understand where the writer is coming from here. But the anger should be at the perpetrators, not the school. I hope the misdemeanor charge sticks and I hope that all learn a lesson. It is easy to say “what if it was a real gun?” but the fact is – it wasn’t. It also wasn’t on school property. If it’s not a real gun to cause a felony charge, and if it wasn’t on school property, then the school district simply does not have the legal right to punish these students further. It is up to FCSO to carry on with the charges.

  37. some guy says:

    @ B.Claire THATs what you get from some saying that those kids deserved a good kick in the but when you say—How horrified I am that it appears that at least 18 posters go home and beat the living daylights out of their much smaller children.

    @Jordyn GREAT POST

  38. meh says:

    i think the bottom line here is, this could have all been avoided if the kids on the bikes didn’t give the finger to the car… they did something stupid, and they got scared in return… something they deserved.

    this is what i think happened. they saw their “friends” driving, they said some stuff, flipped them off, the kids waited and pointed a fake gun at them to mess with them. mom heard it and dove off the deep end…

    • R_sec_resident says:

      Perfect summary of the events. Now she wants them hammered over a series of careless acts on both sides of the fence.

    • Gloria Kollosch says:

      First, my son did not give them the finger the other boy with him did and even then it does not deserve having a realistic looking gun pointed at you.

      Also how many times do I have to say that they were not friends in any sense of the word. Also the incident was started by the car driver who passed close to one of the boys and then hit the horn to scare him and the flip was a reaction to that—-does that make it right, no, but they didn’t start the interaction.

      You also questioned why the boys continued in their direction….at the first encounter they had no idea that it would go further, also it place just off the main road at the intersection of two other roads so they made the turn and encountered them at which the gun was pointed. This fake gun looked real–no orange tip. Yes I did force the issue because a gun was pulled on my son….I don’t care if it is real or not.

      Also to all who feel that the school system shouldn’t be involved…..did you know that if a child does something away from the school itself that results in a felony (or it would’ve been a felony if they were an adult) it will result with the removal of the child from the school…why? to protect others.

      But don’t worry because the boys who were involved with the gun will only face teen court and never have a record. I just hope that they did learn a lesson.

      • meh says:

        i find it hard to believe your son had no involvement in hand gestures thrown the cars way, but lets pretend he didn’t for a moment. the person he’s with did, so that makes him involved, just like you want every kid in the car put in front of a firing range when there was only 1 “gun”.

        then you said they make a right turn and surprise, they were ambushed.. id like to know where these blind turns are that you can’t see 20 feet in front of you from either side. surely they would have recognized the “gunmen” and turned the other way if they felt threatened.

        and again, a car drives too close at you, beeps the horn and you flick them off? the first thing i would think of is “wow this driver is crazy, i’ll distance myself”, not “oo ill show him by remaining calm while my friend flicks him off, yeah sweet plan”….

        lastly, the stunt that was pulled at the school board meeting was embarrassing to watch. only half of the story was told and the manor in which the “message” was delivered was pretty hostile. i think everybody could learn a little bit from this public outburst of humiliation. i was young, and we did stupid things all the time; i think thats part of growing up and maturing. your kids did something stupid, the kids in the car did something stupid…. turn the page and move on with your life.

        • Gloria Kollosch says:

          meh,

          There were 4-5 students in the car and I did not persue charges against everyone, only the driver of the car, because he was in control of the vehicle and made the concsious decision to participate in laying in wait instead of ignoring it and moving on, and the one who aimed the gun for obvious reasons.

          I don’t have to pretend that my son didn’t flip the finger, in fact, he didn’t even know about it until afterwards because he was initially about 30 feet in front of the other boy when the initial flipping took place and slowed after this happened.

          Oh, by the way, when I went to see the DA, I supported a diversion program for the driver of the car because he was the only one who apoligized for his actions both to me and my son, but there was no attempt to apologize until after I filed the charges.

          True only part of the story was told at the meeting because I was only given 3 mins to speak which is why the board asked us to stay after the meeting to tell them more. My issue with the district is if they are going to pick and choose what/how they enforce then they need to rewrite the code to show it, like bus stops are only covered if you are a rider on a bus and why the teachers were never notified (even when the school said this would happen) about what had happened as they would have been on the front lines to be on the look-out for any retaliation. I for one was not humilated and it didn’t appear many others weren’t also…..I had quite a few come up to me about it.

          And finally there are some things I can accept and some that I will never. Gun Safety is one of them and for a person to pull a gun (even if it is a fake replica) on another to instill fear and terror is crossing the line and I will pursue it in any avenue that is available to me. Also part of the growing up and maturing is to learn to accept the consequences of your actions.

      • flaglermomofone says:

        Did you ever think that perhaps the driver honked the horn to let the kids know they were there? Maybe the driver was trying to caution them that there is a vehicle coming, making sure they were aware so they didn’t accidently ride into the street or into the the path of the vehicle.

        Again, not saying that a “gun” being pulled on the kids was ok, it certainly was not but it does seem like your trying to take the blame off your child and his friend for igniting the issue in the first place.

        • John Doe says:

          You don’t screem out of the windown and yell curse words at the kids on bike

          I am on Ms.Kollosch side, that is not a prank that is real, that could have been a real gun and her son could have been shot or swerved into traffic and been killed when they flashed the gun. It says right in the Student Code of Conduct that you cannot have Airsoft guns on school property, I think the kids who pulled the gun should be expelled from school immediatly

  39. Anonymous says:

    All this started because some parent choose to not spend family time with their kid and teach them not to flip off other kids because it could lead to bad things ( just as it did ), in this case All the boy’s should have been arrested for their action’s and the parents should half to go take parenting classes.

    • Gloria Kollosch says:

      Anonymous,

      You are justifying another young adult pulling a gun on other unarmed young adults. You could also say the same thing about the other parents–not spending family time with their children and teaching them that it is not acceptable to point any gun (real or fake) at someone else.

  40. Dave says:

    All this started because some parent choose to not spend family time with their kid to teach them not to flip off other kids because it could lead to bad things , in this case All the boy’s should have been arrested for their action’s and the parents should half to go to parenting classes , once again I say we as parents need to raise our kid’s and stop pointing the finger at the school board for every thing our little angel’s get into .

  41. Gia says:

    Can you imagine somebody else shooting back with a real gun because these idiots had a fake gun. That self defense……

  42. MAXX says:

    Do you know how many people at MATANZAS HIGH SCHOOL bring REAL guns to school and knifes. And no one does anything about it. So many kids threaten to harm students and teachers with weapons and no one does anything. I personally told a few teachers and they said I was lying and the kids were just playing around. PLAYING AROUND!?! Everyday I go to this stupid school and I see about four REAL guns and tons of knifes. Something should be done about the REAL gun problem. The reason this problem is never address is because we have retards in charge.

    • Thinking says:

      Yes, and it sounds like this is part of a point Mrs. Kollosch is trying to make. Had they pointed their airsoft at one of these people who have a real gun at school – which just as easily could have happened, as the “boys will be boys” theory goes, not thinking and all, with a very different outcome. I wonder how that would have been handled by the school board. I’m thinking you folks in charge better start listening… Maxx here has pointed out something very serious of which you should take note. Probably sooner rather than later.

  43. someone says:

    Mrs. Kollosch, I hope you will fight this and change this school system. I am so happy that someone is doing something about this. So, Thank you!

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