The arrest of a 15-year-old student at Buddy Taylor Middle School Thursday is the year’s first instance of a student allegedly threatening an attack on fellow students, faculty–and herself.
The student was Baker Acted and charged with a misdemeanor and a second-degree felony, though the Baker Act proceedings had already been invoked when she began making threats against the school, as the girl was making grave threats against her own life. That which could invalidate the criminal charge: A Baker Act, whereby law enforcement has the authority to seize an individual for psychiatric evaluation if the individual is threatening harm against self or others, implies that the person is not in full control of her faculties.
The school district over the last few years has been working successfully to diminish the number of Baker Acts from school grounds–and to earnestly and aggressively counsel suicidal students. But this situation escalated beyond the faculty’s control, authorities said, requiring the intervention of a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy on only the fifth day of his assignment as a school resource officer.
A deputy’s intervention is “a case-by-case decision,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “The teacher tried to handle it in her classroom and the student started–my understanding–arguing and yelling, and I think where the line got crossed was two areas: she started throwing chairs and tables around in the classroom where she could have hurt other students, so the deputy got called up to the classroom at this point because now it’s turning into a violent encounter. Then when he gets there, at some point during that interaction, she started threatening to hurt herself, which required the Baker Act, and when she was still interacting with my deputy is when she started making all the threats to shoot up the school and the deputy and the teacher. You just can’t do that today. You might be angry and acting out, but you cannot threaten to harm a school, and if you do, you’re going to get arrested and charged.”
Staly was going on information that had been reported to him, and written in a release about the incident. There is no mention in the charging affidavit of what the release refers to as “flipping chairs and throwing desks in the classroom,” however. That took place later, away from students, according to the report.
According to the charging affidavit forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, the 15-year-old Buddy Taylor student had come to first-period class late after Assistant Principal Jean Stahl had asked her to change her shirt that was not compliant with the dress code. Stahl gave her a collared shirt. But after going to the bathroom, the girl went to class still wearing the shirt she’d been asked to replace. She was in Tina Martin’s reading class. Martin asked the girl to go back to the bathroom and change. The girl refused, telling Martin “that she was going to harm herself by stabbing herself,” according to the report, “that there was no reason for her to be alive, and that she would lock herself in the bathroom and die.”
All the statements, the report notes, were made in the classroom “full of students.” The district refused to disclose the number of students in her class at the time of the incident, saying it was still investigating–though the number of students exposed to the incident is not germane to the investigation.
Martin called the dean’s office a little after 8 to report the disruption in Building 9. Tara Millette, the dean, went to the classroom, but the student pre-empted her, saying she wasn’t going to leave. The student went into the restroom attached to the classroom and said she might as well slit her wrists. As Millette tried to clear the classroom, the student got up and tried to leave with them. At 8:13, deputy Cory Petty entered the room. (The Sheriff’s Office hired Petty in May 2017 and recently reassigned him to the school as part of the enlarged corps of school deputies.) He cleared the rest of the classroom and tried to deescalate the situation.
He did, to the extent that he was able to escort the girl to Millette’s office. There, the report states, the girl “began kicking over the chairs,” and was handcuffed, taken to the deputy’s office, and continued to be disruptive. That part of the report is censored, suggesting that it’s at that point that, according to the release, the girl “threatened to shoot up the school.”
The girl was Baker Acted and transported to Halifax Behavioral Services in Daytona Beach. The school administration, the report states, began proceedings to remove the student from school. No one was injured.
“It shows the importance of assigning experienced deputy sheriffs to the schools and the training that we provide,” Staly said of Petty, “and provide it for school resource deputies for their new assignments. He did an outstanding job controlling the situation and not letting it escalate.”
Any suspicious activity in schools should be reported to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office immediately by calling 9-1-1 for an emergency or 386-313-4911 for a non-emergency. Tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477) or by emailing [email protected]
These millennial kids think that they can get away with anything they choose PLUS they have the RIGHT to do it. NOT!!!!
Mary Fusco says
Just another kid that has NEVER heard the word NO. At 15 she is old enough to dress according to the dress code of her school. Turn her over to her parents and let them figure out what to do with her. Not fair to the other students.
Born and Raised Here says
This student should not be around the school population, but should be evaluated for mental disburbance by a mental professional, A sure sign that this student could have snapped and the next time BTMS would make the national news for a mass shooting. Just sayin’
Wow guess she ruined the wkend for herself. Set an example for younger kids in a positive fashion . This is Middle School not too difficult to comply smh
Jolene Dehart says
OMG. What a trivial thing to turn into such epic drama.
Jolene Dehart says
I see a problem already. 15 years old in middle school? That’s the age of most sophomores. She must be in class with 11 and 12 year old kids. Not appropriate. And there may be a number of reasons a kid comes dressed wrong, should be ASKED to don a loaned shirt and non-compliance result in a one day suspension. Should not be forced into this type of disruptive escalation.
And where were the girls parent(s) when she left the house dressed the way she was? That’s the real question.
SAD Very SAD!
Concenrned Citizen says
Are students not advised of the dress code before school starts? Yet she chose to violate it and then throws a temper tantrum and disrespects herself and the school in the process. Just lovely.
Rules are meant to be followed and as a middle school student it’s a life lesson. You don’t get to do just whatever you want in a structured environment and not expect consequences.
As to her suicidal threats if she needs help I hope she gets it. If it turns out she cried wolf to get away from being in trouble that needs to be addressed.
As to the threat of shooting up the school pursue the felony charge and sentence accordingly. It’s not something to be taken lightly. I’m glad they are removing her from the school for everyone’s safety.
She still needs to be monitored closely after she gets released. Now she has a grudge to hold.
Ugh. Great start to the school year . Hopefully she will get the medical care she needs
I hope this young person gets the help she needs.
Make sure the Commissioners, both city and county, know about this. Maybe they will change their minds about paying up. Great job to the new school resource deputy.you are well worth the money these clowns are unwilling to give.
This student really needs psychological evaluation an urgent treatment as looks to me she has a life crisis and all is needed before is too late.
@Jolene, I was thinking the same thing 15 in Middle School? There are a lot of problems going on with the girl for her to still be in Middle School.
Evelyn Duffy says
Let’s look at this reasonably. We do not know her home situation. Does anyone know if she is with both parents, is there violence in the home or is she abused…today yes children are privileged. The courts say you can’t reprimand your kids. Ok years ago you got your butt handed to you and you were taught respect. No saying these are the problems but worth looking into. And BTS has a reputation of being the WORSE school in Flagler County. Help this child don’t throw her to the wolves.
I agree, 15 year old students are generally in their freshman year of high school however it is not unheard of for a slow student to be held back one year OR depending on their birth date to enter school at an older age than others. In this young ladies situation it was her attitude that got her in trouble not her age.
Look at what this dress code is doing to our kids emotionally!!!! Stop the damn dress code already. Focus more on educating rather than policing. This child apparently hit a breaking point and probably constantly had adults on her butt who pushed her to a breaking point. Do your jobs and teach already.
Mary Fusco says
What exactly is a dress code doing to our kids emotionally? The bottom line is that a dress code would not have ever been needed if parents parented their children and monitored what they were wearing to school. Teachers can’t teach because they have to feed, discipline, counsel, medicate kids. What time in the day is left to teach? Kids are going into school with ZERO respect for their teachers or anyone else. The world is full of rules and regulations. You can’t have a breakdown every time something does not go your way. 15 is a young woman, not a first grader. We need to go back to a time when parents parented their children, taught them right from wrong, respect for others and there are consequences for their actions. Until this happens, teachers are just wardens. My daughter was a teacher. She left the profession because students who were disciplined threatened to kill her. She said there is not enough money in the world to make her to back to these crazies.
She ought to be lucky that there IS a dress code otherwise she may just be wearing a school uniform like MANY students do in a LOT of countries. Now, depending on the outcome of her court case she just may HAVE a very unique uniform to wear!
@107 Oh I agree so emotionally destabilizing (sarcasm) smh
Could move to San Francisco where there is no dress code. https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2018/08/21/san-francisco-bay-area-schools-no-shame-dress-code-allows-tube-tops-and-torn-jeans/1052718002/
Texas dress code? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X2Y77ruPEw
Of course the girl has some issues. Majority of these issues have to do with parenting skills Family values are a lost art these days.
Carol Copeland says
Don’t judge. You do not have any idea of her background. She needs help.