Flagler Palm Coast High School is on heightened security status as students are arriving on campus this morning following a threat with “some specificity,” according to an email to staff and a message to parents issued by FPC Principal Tom Russell at dawn.
“We have been made aware of an anonymous threat made against FPC,” Russell wrote his staff. “There is some specificity with this threat so we have brought in extra security from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. They have joined our school security team in going through the campus.”
Russell wrote that there was “no evidence that the threat is credible at this time,” but is having staff go through their security protocols after the first period bell around 8 a.m., following which, classroom instruction is set to resume. Russell did not respond to calls and a text this morning.
Bus pickups are not affected, but students were being held on buses at the school, until 7:30, before an all-clear was expected at that time. (Students were in fact let out of buses around 7:40 a.m. By 7:45, normalcy appeared to be the rule in school corridors, with students perhaps a bit more glued to their phones than usual.)
“From all the information we have, it’s going to be a threat that turns out not to be anything,” Superintendent Jim Tager said. “Kid overheard another kid saying something about bullets and pipes. It was enough that we wanted to take a look at it.”
“The way I understand it, the school received an anonymous tip,” a Flagler County Sheriff’s spokesperson said at 7:10 a.m. “I don’t have specifics on the threat but units have been on campus all morning and have swept the school and are allowing teachers inside now. There will be additional resources on campus today and they will continue to monitor all school activities.”
In a recorded phone message disseminated to FPC students’ homes, Russell repeated the reference to “some specificity,” without being more specific, and said: “I want to stress the importance of parents, students and staff as our eyes and ears,” urging students or others to use the district’s “see something, say something” means of alerting officials of any suspicious sightings or activity.
Tager said David Bossardette, the district’s risk manager, who oversees school resource deputies, and the sheriff’s Chief Bovino, led the security response early this morning. “They searched the buildings around 6 this morning, nothing turned up, which obviously is really, really good,” the superintendent said.
Once released from buses, or for those arriving on foot or by car drop-off, it was possible that students were to be gathered in a central area for a time, until the all-clear. Tager said the all-clear was expected at 7:30 a.m.
The tip was sent to officials through the state’s Fortify Florida alert system.
“We’ve done what we can but as you know, this is a tough, tough, tough one to solve for schools across the country,” Tager said.
Russell issued an update by automated phone calls that went out after 8:30, saying the origin of the threat was now being traced and that “we are treating this with extreme seriousness.”
Not a joke. Find our who made the threat and ban them from school and put them in jail.
Fpc Junior says
Why are we finding out the morning of 😐👈🏽 I can’t go to school without any type of bs. It’s either the bothered asf girls who like to fwm or some threat against the school. Like come tf on.
CB from PC says
So how is that soft glove approach to disciplining students working out for you?
Everyone knows who the problems are, give them one chance to shape up, and if not, tell their parent or guardian, the responsibility and cost of “educating” the student, is on them.
Of course, in a lot of cases, the adult is probably just an older dysfunctional version.
catering to disruptive students deprives those who want an education.
I seriously doubt, given the Liberal bent of the Flagler School System that the next Superintendent will be any more qualified than the current one to institute what is needed to create a productive learning environment.
I have taught my kid right from wrong, I never got in trouble in school so stop always blaming the parents. I used to think that way too until I have kids and the girls are good as gold and the boys need a beating!!
Let me just say , SHAME ON YOU FPC. The school should have been closed for the day! What if there was an actual threat and you had all of your students report to class? Jesus putting our children in danger like this is stupid. What if someone really wanted to do something.? Why won’t the principal return calls? It’s all on the school district if something happens! 😡
Mary Fusco says
JF, you have the choice of keeping your child home. I certainly would have. I remember back in the old days keeping my kids home during bad weather, even though the busses were running. They all graduated high school and college. It’s a no brainer.
I actually did keep my son home. I am not ashamed of this. Unfortunately this is the society we live in. Credible or not why take that chance.
Ok JF, every time some knuckle head makes a comment on social media we should close schools…. welcome to the real world. Ain’t happening
The principal obviously was not returning calls from the media in the middle of a threat investigation. The number one priority is to check the validity of the threat and make sure the campus for everyone is safe. Answering media questions is the least priority and that is what the district pr person is for. I think I’d rather have someone coordinate the response than waste their time on a phone call.
2nd: The call went out early enough that the parent could of decided to have their child stay home. School can not be canceled for every threat as the students will never be in class.
Please have some common sense.
Common sense is protecting our children. I bet you’d feel pretty damm bad if this happened again and it was an actual threat. I’m sorry I am over protective and will not take that chance. I will protect my boy no matter what.
Students should not be allowed to bring cell phones on school property, why would any school allow students to be on their phones at any point while on campus?
Gary R says
@Dave – You have to get with the times it is no longer 70’s and 80’s. If there is an emergency or students get separated how will they contact their parents or know where they are? Who You Gonna Call Ghostbusters?
FPC Junior says
bro … what bro? What does this have to do with MY SAFETY lol
Kristopher Bennett says
Okay so say your kids on school property and a shooting or threat occurs. without that student having a phone you got no info on their state. This is the stupidest thing ive ever heard
1st of all no one had phones in school in 2010 on before so dont even try that 70’s 80’s stuff. Secondly students dont need to call parents in emergency that’s the school and polices job not a student.NO PHONES ON SCHOOL PROPERTY PERIOD!
Time changes though and we all need to adapt.
Steve Ward says
Its the first thing I agree with you on. A breakthrough Awesome Dave lol. I know you (LEO/ADM.) have to go through the process but these kids, young adults are playing the system hard. Just sayin
J. H. says
I couldn’t believe this morning when that recorded message told me to have my kids be their eyes and ears for the school. I kept my boys eyes and ears safely at home.
I don’t understand how school closings occur days ahead of a possibility of a hurricane but not in the event of an eminent threat.
The times can change but there will never ever be a actual good reason a child should have a phone on school property. Not even in their car. They should be left at home to ensure all students safety. I have seen phones start more fights this year in school then help anyone. Including the recent brawl at FPC.