Reports of a fight or a brawl at Flagler Palm Coast High School began coming into the 911 center Wednesday soon after school let out. By the time sheriff’s deputies had investigated, they concluded that the fight had started within the school, then spilled into the parking lot by the Auditorium, involving dozens of students, and briefly continued in the parking lot near Olive Garden and through SnapChat.
In the end, despite phone and surveillance video footage identifying several assailants among the students, no one was arrested, no one faces charges.
FPC Dean Toussaint Roberson first contacted a sheriff’s deputy about emerging trouble at 2:20 p.m. on Dec. 11, just as school was over. There’d been a confrontation in the school. Based on surveillance footage, a sheriff’s deputy reported, “the entire verbal and physical altercation started because several students were mocking another student’s outfit.”
Arguments started in the circle hallway inside the school at 2:18 as more than half a dozen students started taking what amounts to harassing video of the student on Tik Tok, the social media app used to improvise very short music videos. A group had gathered around the student being made fun of, and an argument between the two groups started, then turned physical when one student threw a pen at another. School staff intervened, broke up the fight and ordered one group to move out. The other group, with the student and the outfit in question, stayed behind, but only briefly.
The two groups again confronted each other in the parking lot by the Auditorium’s side, and there not one but several fights escalated involving numerous students: a caller to 911 at one point reported more than 50 students in that part of the parking lot, and more arriving. Girls were “in each other’s faces,” one smacked the other, “then multiple other fights broke out and other people got involved,” a deputy reported. One girl was pushed to the ground and struck several times while down. Students would break up one fight only for other fights to flare up, resume, result in more students getting thrown to the ground, one of whom “was kicked and stomped [on] multiple times.”
The deputy’s report names student one after the other, describing which student was doing what.
After still more physical confrontations, the fight dies down and several students make their way to the parking lot near Olive Garden. The confrontations there were only verbal. After students dispersed or drove off, a different kind of threat began circulating on SnapChat, with one girl claiming she’d heard another “state that she had firearms and would roll up on them.”
“I observed a video provided by [a student] of [another student] screaming, insulting, and asking [the first] where she was at and stating she would roll up on them; however, in the video there was no mention of firearms,” a deputy reported. It should be noted that [a girl] can be heard in the background. The deputy documented taunts between students, but also noted that from observations, the alleged bruise on one student, claimed to be from one of the fights, “was not a bruise but a hickey.”
The deputies’ investigations continued over the next two days, but after making several contacts with several parents, those who had considered charges at first changed their mind, and none wanted to pursue charges anymore, according to the sheriff’s documentation of the incident.
A district spokesman today said “the school is investigating, going through videos on campus to identify students involved. Any discipline will be handled according to our Student Code of Conduct.”