With some of its members still smarting from the “Don’t Say Gay” student walkouts at Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High School last month, the Flagler County School Board agreed to clarify a policy addressing boycotts and walkouts, both to preserve the rights of students to free expression and to protect school functions from disruption.
Matanzas High School
Military veterans from Key West and Washington, D.C., led a protest that drew 30 people outside Flagler Palm Coast High School at dawn today in protest of the school suspending student-leader Jack Petocz last Thursday after he led an anti-“Don’t Say Gay” walkout and distributed gay-pride flags. Petocz’s suspension ended today.
At least one student involved in a fight over a Trump flag that was deployed during the FPC suspension is among those who were suspended. The flag appears to have been deployed as a provocation of the students demonstrating, and was accompanied by taunts against the students, who were repeatedly called “faggots.”
Lomack J. Bennett, 33, was allegedly angered by his high school son wearing make-up and proceeded to slap him repeatedly, choke him, throw him to the ground and bust his lip, according to the boy’s account. He faces a child abuse “without great bodily harm” charge and a battery charge, but no hate crime charge.
The College Board, the organization that offers college-entrance exams such as the SAT and Advanced Placement tests, is offering SAT retakes at no costs to students who took the test at Matanzas High School on Dec. 4. The re-take offer, which is voluntary, is a direct consequence of Flagler County School Board member Janet McDonald interfering with the process last Saturday, when she went to the school and urged students not to wear protective face masks, in direct violation of College Board rules.
An 18-year-old student in a Matanzas High School class class for behaviorally challenged students, facing a felony charge after assaulting a teacher, was found incompetent to stand trial–and not qualified to be sent to a state psychiatric hospital while awaiting a return to competency.
Karissa Jackson and Kaylee Briggs are among the more outspoken student board members who have served on the Flagler County School Board. They both addressed the ongoing attempt by Board members Jill Woolbright and Janet McDonald to remove or review books from school libraries.
With a Nor’easter expected to bring between 1 and 3 inches of rain to the region starting Friday morning, the athletic departments at Matanzas and Flagler Palm Coast High School agreed to move the annual potato bowl from Friday to tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Matanzas’s Pirates Stadium.
Marion Leo Gavins Jr., 20, pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to 45 years in prison for the murder of Curtis Gray, 18, in April 2019 outside a smoke shop in Palm Coast, a killing that shook the Flagler Palm Coast High and Matanzas High communities and that led his mother to create an enduring non-profit in Gray’s name.
In contrast with two previous “listening sessions” on school rezoning, which drew dozens and reflected sharp if concentrated opposition to the proposal at the time, the session the Flagler school district held at Indian Trails Middle School’s cafeteria Wednesday evening drew at most five people, not counting double that number in district staffers, including Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt.