A knife incident involving a 12-year-old student at Buddy Taylor Middle School broke a nearly seven-week lull in school-safety incidents Wednesday morning. No one was hurt. The student was not arrested, though charges were forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office, and the student is facing school disciplinary measures.
Buddy Taylor’s Tara Millette, one of two deans at the school, reported to the school’s deputy shortly after 8 a.m. that a student may have a knife on campus, based on what she’d just been told by agriscience teacher R.D. Davis. The student, a 12-year-old girl, was immediately removed from class and brought to the dean’s office. Millette searched her and found a black folding pocketknife in her book bag. The student’s mother was contacted and went to the school so her child could be interviewed by school authorities with her present.
The girl told authorities that a boy was sitting in her assigned seat. She asked him to move. He apparently did not do so. She put down her book bag and took out the knife, according to what she told authorities, and said something to the effect of “let me make this easy.” She said it was “a stupid thing to do and she was not thinking at the time,” and that she’d pulled out the knife to make the boy move, not to hurt anyone.
The alleged victim was also interviewed with his mother present. He acknowledged sitting in the girl’s seat, and asking her if he could sit there for that class. He described her taking out the knife but said the blade was never out, and it was never pointed in his direction. He said she held the knife in her hand at her side. She was standing right next to him, and he told authorities that while he was afraid that she had the knife, he did not think she was going to harm him.
The parent of the boy did not wish to pursue charges and asked the school to follow its own disciplinary procedures. A witness to the incident corroborated much of what the girl and the boy told authorities, including the fact that she never pointed the knife at the boy, though the witness said he could tell it was a knife.
The incident report describes the knife as a black folded Smith and Wesson pocket knife, about two and a half inches long. The knife was taken into evidence and charges were forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for review.
“This is, of course, a violation of our Student Code of Conduct,” a district spokesman said, but referred further details on the incident to the sheriff’s office.
The incident broke what had been a quiet spell in Flagler schools in so far as incidents involving weapons or threats are concerned, following a spate of such incidents in January and February that resulted in students’ arrests because of threats to shoot up a school or weapons possession. In December, a Buddy Taylor student was arrested for bringing a loaded gun to school.