Raquelle S. Shavers, the 23-year-old woman at the center of an incident at Bunnell Elementary School last week where she was alleged to threaten to burn down the school, faces a felony charge of threatening to discharge a destructive device, though initially police and school authorities had agreed to limit any consequences to a verbal warning, though the approach seemed to contrast with numerous similar incidents involving young children making threats over the past year, but facing immediate felony charges and, usually, arrest.
Shavers was not arrested. The charge was forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, where prosecutors will decide whether to file the charge or dismiss it. In an odd twist, the sheriff’s office is also asking the State Attorney’s Office to examine the incident in light of the state’s hate-crime law, implying that Shavers’s accusations of the school being racist combined with her alleged threat was, somehow, potentially a hate crime.
Shavers faced battery and disorderly conduct charges in 2014. The charges were dropped. She faced a battery and trespassing charges two years later and signed a deferred prosecution agreement, completing its conditions in exchange for the charges being dropped.
The incident at the school took place on Nov. 6. Principal Marcus Sanfilippo told the school resource deputy, Nancy Malheiros, that a disgruntled Shavers, a parent and a member of the school’s community, allegedly made a threatening comment: “I’m going to burn this place up” as she was walking out of the school that day. A parent waiting outside heard this statement and notified the school staff, in accordance with the district’s and sheriff’s “see something, say something” campaign focused on school safety. By the time the deputy was notified, both Shavers and the witness had left the school.
Flagler County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Ragazzo, who supervises school deputies, and a Bunnell police officer went to Shavers’s home on Chapel Street in Bunnell to interview her. She was not there in person. They spoke to her by phone, according to a sheriff’s incident report. Shavers, according to the report, said she was angry, alleging racism at the school, but said she had not made the threatening statement. The school declined to trespass Shavers.
The next day, Sanfillippo convened a threat assessment regarding the matter. The threat assessment team is a trained group of school administrators, usually including a psychologist or counselor, and the school resource deputy, who analyze all serious security threats and weigh the sort of approach to take, if any. It’s a way of filtering out transient, vague and unspecified threats from more serious threats. The threat assessment team’s approach differs from that of law enforcement, where a zero-tolerance approach tends to prevail in such circumstances.
The team called Shavers. She told the team she was “extremely angry due to the fact that she waited about 20 minutes for her child and feels the school is racist,” the report states. She acknowledged making the statement about the school’s racism but again said she had not made any threats, nor would ever make such threats since she has two children and nephews who go to school there.
The witness’ statement describes things differently, and that Shavers’s reaction took place in front of the witness’ young child: “A lady with her young son were exiting the front doors of Bunnell Elementary School yelling, ‘Fuck You!’ to the front office staff. As she walked towards an awaiting car she continued to yell, ‘fuck this school, Imma going to burn it up!’ Everyone here is white, this place is racist.’ Her tone and actions were very threatening and I felt very uncomfortable and scared. My 8 year old daughter was also very fearful and upset as this was her school.”
After the threat assessment, the team, in consultation with the sheriff’s deputy, “decided that they were comfortable with giving [Shavers] a verbal warning and do not wish to trespass her at this time,” according to the incident report. “Due to conflicting statements no charges will be filed… Nothing further to report at this time.”
But it was not the end of it. On Wednesday morning, a sheriff’s chief was asked about the difference in treatment between the Shavers case and other similar cases that resulted in relatively swift arrest. Mid-afternoon on Thursday, the sheriff’s office produced a charging affidavit for Shavers, dated Nov. 8. The affidavit repeats the narrative of the incident report but lists the felony charge of threatening to discharge a destructive device, and adds the following: “further request for State [Attorney’s Office] to review [Florida’s hate crime law] evidencing prejudice while committing offense.” The affidavit states a “reclassification” of the charge could be aggravated “due to the witness statement of ‘Everyone here is white, this place is racist.'” The statement, the affidavit reads, “was made after the defendant claimed she was going to burn the school up.”
“Burn it up”, “light it up” etc are phrases used when angry meaning to shake things up. It doesn’t mean she was literally going to burn the school down.
Not trying to minimize it but come on. Maybe the school is racist?
This seems a pretty over the top charge …and there was no mention of device.
That’s just a false charge
So, When a child, who is not as mature as an adult and usually does not think about the consequences of their words gets arrested it’s ok, they should know better and you can never be to careful. But, it’s ok for this ADULT to not get charged when she said she was going to “burn it down”? I don’t think alot of these kids mean what they say either. But they said it and there are consequences, and that should be the same for anyone.
Born and Raised Here says
Riley, to me those words mean exactly what they are, no slang, street talk, or phase. Let’s get back to speaking proper English.
Sorry, ghetto slang is not used here. Direct meaning of English words is, DA
That racist card playing has been played over and over and over, getting old.
It’s much easier than taking on responsibility for yourself and for your actions.
A citizen says
Yet and still racism still exist. So it won’t get old until equality isn’t actually implied and not just talked about.
Bob Jones says
What’s your magic bullet to remove racism? Will your cure remove war, bad manners and diarrhea as well?
Stupid is as stupid does. Really ?How old are you and are you aware of what is going on in the World
A citizen says
Clearly you’re not aware. Being black in this world is hard enough.
The Geode says
I am “black” and I don’t find the world hard. Then again, I know how to control my emotions, work for what I have and comport myself in public…
So because of the color of her skin she has the right to say she’s going to burn a school down????? SMH
Daniela Cole says
Unfortunately it’s parents like this who parent their children’s in such a way that they see these kind of acts and them themselves are racist. I understand when people are angry they can say things they don’t mean but on the other hand, no one should be able to threaten the school of thousands of kids safety and get away with it people need to realize that you cannot do that you cannot make a threat on school property in front of other kids that is so horrible something needs to be done she needs to be charged she has a record and it seems like she keeps getting breaks. A charge needs to be made to show everyone that it is not OK
Agree. Sounds like she has anger issues. Unfortunately her children will grow up acting and thinking the same way as they will not have been taught any other way.
Name (Required) says
I hope the parent, the community, the school, and police can keep their composure during the investigation of this situation. These are sad affairs that affect communities somehow still, and need to be extinguished in a diplomatic, and civil way. No need to sensationalize a parent with absolutely zero understanding of the institutional education process. Maybe just remind her how justified she is to have her child be afforded the same educational opportunities as all of her fellow community; regardless of race.
I think she should have charges against her what makes her any different from the other people that make threats
Mary Fusco says
23, with 2 school age children? Sometimes people need to grow up before they start having children. What a wonderful role model she is for her children who will continue with this mentality and on and on it goes. Sad.
The Geode says
“23, with 2 school age children”
That’s the part NOBODY wants to address
??My mother started at 17,had 4 of us by the time she was 21,and then went back to school-both her and my father were both attorneys with their own practice….all 4 of us are all college educated as well with our own families…what does age have to do with it?
Mary Fusco says
Age has plenty to do with it when you are walking around like this shooting your immature mouth off. I had 4 children myself by 27. They are all college educated and they and myself would never behave in this manner nor would their children who are all in college themselves. Children having children does not always work.
What is wrong with our court system when people are charge with breaking the law and then you read over and over again, charges dropped? Those charge with crimes and charges are always dropped how does that teach the person a lesson not to break the law again?
Is there not an independent agency that can look into the racism that this individual speaks. Sad to say but there is a lot of racism and bullying taking place in our schools, even shooting deaths. Perhaps the State Attorney’s office should investigate any allegation that makes school unsafe for children!
A citizen says
When it’s all said and done, it is a he say she say type of ordeal. Who else heard this? What are the FACTS that may have led up to this? This is what’s wrong with Flagler County police. Everything is turned towards the blacks, no one wants to research the details. Assumptions will only lead to bad. This is why blacks feel unsafe, unwanted and always pull the racism card. It’s probable! You (the privileged) give blacks no other choice because of how unfairly blacks are treated.
Wake Up says
WOW….I don’t even know where to start with this. She was upset because she had to wait to pick up her child. So, that makes the school racist? I had to wait to pick up my son once at school, after the nurse sent him back to class after he fell on the playground. She sent him back to class and told me everything was fine, put some ice on it. I could tell the moment I saw him that his arm was broken. It was in 2 places. Does that make the school racist? NO. And you say “the privileged” So, my daughter has a black friend. Her parent’s are wealthy. Drive a BMW, I don’t and I’m white. So, should I be angry at him or call him racist because he has nice things? Looks like he had a choice and made decisions on what his goals were, not the color of his skin.
Please stop trying to spread hate.Nowhere,not once was her race mentioned so you really have no clue if she was even black….
And this person is in guardianship of young children? THAT needs to be checked out!
Is 20 minutes a long time to wait for a child? Just asking. Could the child have been talking to his/ her teacher or other children? Don’t know?
Jeff Gartrell says
It is a case of semantics! It was all misunderstood. Not literally burning down the school. I mean come on. Burning down this school means she was gonna tear someones ass. Get people fired. Plain and simple.
Wake up says
It was a threat against the school. The are arresting juveniles for less.
I hope there will be an investigation done into the school to get to the bottom of the racism that has been coming out of Bunnell Elementary for years.
Before you crucify this woman we should ask what did the school do to evoke her response.
Also calling an institution racist and pointing out the fact that the school is mostly white is not a hate crime. She was simply stating facts.
@Dave . No matter what she felt they did, her behavior was not acceptable and equally not an example of fine behavior for her children- remember- two wrongs do not make a right.
The Geode says
Given the fact that the United States is “mostly white” and damn near EVERY “institution” and corporation is either owned or governed by whites, it stands to reason that you think EVERYTHING is “racist”. What makes this school “racist”? Because she had to wait? Because people didn’t snap to attention because of a childish tirade? She can always opt to “homeschool” and NOT send her children to a “racist school”. Then again, it’s easier to take advantage of free services and complain about how it’s not to YOUR satisfaction.
Mary Fusco says
It doesn’t take much to evoke a response from anyone these days. Try getting a fast food order wrong and you will see the consequences. Bottom line is that maybe she needs to home school her little darlings if she even finished high school. The race card and the privilege cards have been played out. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, or political affiliation you are, learn how to act like human being. Everyone gets ticked off at times but yelling and screaming solves nothing except to make one look like a fool.
No matter what “evoked” her response- It was inappropriate. Yes the school is mostly white, just like every other school in Flagler county. It matches the same racial makeup of the entire county.
She should be charged just like anybody else that makes threats she’s no different
Flagler parent says
Flagler schools pick and choose who gets away with what there system is awful and discipline is bent and twisted. I’ve had children attend who gotten in trouble when I confronted the school in black and white with there own words I was still told no this is the course of action mind you my child didn’t do what they said it was on video so once again they will not pursue any action they r waiting for an event to happen. That will endanger children we are suppose to nurture and protect
This won’t go anywhere. It’s just the Sheriffs Office covering their ass because someone spoke up.
Born and Raised Here says
Of all places, this kind of behavior will not be tolerated. Prosecute to the fullest
She said she didn’t say it so it is hearsay. There is no case here and it seems the administration is over-reacting.
Land of no turn signals says says
If color was reversed that parent would be in handcuffs by the end of the day
Try talking about a bomb in an Airport and see what happens. Look just inappropriate and with the way the World is you CANT say these things ESPECIALLY at a School. Cmon wise up. The California shooting took place that day. It is what it is . Her anger issues need to be addressed . Quit with the Race card to justify your juvenile actions. Grow up
Bunnell fl says
She should go to jail. And her kids can go to dcf.