It did not take long for security incidents in Flagler schools to pick up where they left off in December, a month riddled by arrests and charges against students who uttered threats or brought a weapon to school.
Unlike that spate of incidents, which involved students in high school and at the district’s two middle schools, the latest incident, on the second day of school after the Christmas break, took place at Rymfire Elementary and involved an 11-year-old boy allegedly bringing a knife to school–and threatening another student.
The 11-year-old student faces a felony charge of improper exhibition of a weapon on school grounds.
The alleged victim is a 13-year-old boy. Part of the incident took place Tuesday at Building 7, the school’s gym. According to the 11-year-old’s arrest affidavit, the older boy approached 6th grade teacher Terese Fisher, upset, and told her that the younger boy had threatened to murder him. He told the teacher that the boy had a knife in his backpack.
“Several other students who witnessed the encounter [told] Fisher that [the alleged assailant] had a knife and threatened to do physical harm to another student with the knife,” the report states. Fisher was going to speak to the 11 year old. Just before she did so, she told authorities she saw him throw an object over the fence delineating the school’s property line.
The boy initially denied to Assistant Principal Travis Lee that he had a knife, saying he’d thrown a white comb over the fence. But P.E. coach Travis Holloway searched the area and found “a large kitchen knife with a black finished blade,” the report states, “with a white and black plastic-like handle.” The knife was about 12.5 inches long.
The student’s mother reported to the school and gave authorities permission to question her son, who said he had no intention of using the knife. Parts of what he said are censored from the report, as authorities may legally redact information that could be self-incriminating to the suspect.
The incident took place toward the end of the school day.
The student was processed at the county jail and released to his mother on order of the Department of Juvenile Justice.
The school is continuing it’s investigation. It’s not yet clear what school-based consequences the student may face. A district spokesman said “each incident is reviewed as it relates to our Student Code of Conduct. There are separate Codes of Conduct for Elementary and Secondary students.” He added: “We ask our parents and guardians to please talk with their students about the importance of school safety. It’s important for students to know they can speak with a teacher or other adult if they feel threatened at school or they know of a threat on one of our campuses.”
“We are glad the students that knew about the knife on campus came forward and reported it to their teacher,” Sheriff Rick Staly was quoted as saying in a release issued by his agency this morning. “We have been working closely with the School District to remind parents and students about appropriate speech and behavior in schools. We have a zero tolerance policy in Flagler County and bringing a weapon to school is in violation of that and you will be charged.”
In the same release, Superintendent Jim Tager reminded parents to “take this opportunity to speak to your child about the importance of school safety. While peer pressure is great at this age, we want to encourage students to feel comfortable reporting any information they may have that compromises their safety and the safety of others. Working together we can maintain an environment where students are free to focus on learning.”
He had used similar language in a welcome-back message sent parents by phone and email at the end of the Christmas break.
They sure start them young in PC!
The original woody says
She said he no intention on using the knife?I guess it was O.K. to take to school,must have been show and tell that day.
Why is there a ThirTEEN year-old at Rymfire?
I’m thinking there is more to the story. Was the 11yr old being bullied by the 13 yr old? How is a 13yr old in elementary school? It is absolutely not ok for a child to bring a weapon to school but my elementary school child was bullied and nothing was done by the counselors or administrators. I think the schools need to take bullying more seriously so situations like this won’t happen.
Usually something like this happens because a child is being bullied and threatened
Concerned Citizen says
When will our School system start addressing it’s security concerns? Or lack thereof.
What’s to say that the 13 yr old wasn’t bullying the 11 yr old all year??? That he felt his only resource was to bring the knife (I am not condoning it) to school to defend himself?? That maybe … just maybe… he felt there was no other way to defend himself??? That he had told the teachers or maybe not… maybe thought he would be picked on for being a snitch??? Before you start bashing this child, maybe you were one of the lucky ones not to get bullied or maybe you were the bully
This moms over it!! says
My daughter goes to Buddy Taylor and its happened there teo. Bug I know some parents at Rymifire. Students tell the teachers things and they get ignored. I know a parent that stated that a teacher told her bullying is not verbal its physical. Someone needs to educate the teachers!!!
@ Veteran says:
January 9, 2019 at 3:06 pm
They sure start them young in PC!
How do you know this kid is from Palm Coast?
Speak the truth says
Parents truly need to get involved in their kids lives I know when my kid was 11 I used to put his lunch in his backpack and check everything to make sure he had everything I definitely would have seen if he had a weapon. I don’t understand why it’s so hard for these parents 2 teach their children the right thing to be involved in their lives with all that is going on in the school’s you would think a parent would show some concern and not teach their kids to be bullies she needs to be held responsible as well.
Elementary students are allowed to fail up to 3 grade levels while at the K-5 school, which means there are many 3rd grade students that are 11 years old and 5th grade students that are 13 and 14 years old.
Flagler Parent says
Rymfire does NOT take bullying seriously. My 11yo daughter was sexually harassed daily there last year. After being repeatedly groped in the lunch line, she was finally moved to another class. Where she received “d*ck pics”. From 10 year olds, who then showed up at my house at 4am. School’s solution? Switch her to another class! We put her in another SCHOOL. When I asked to be able to contact the boys’ parents I was told that isn’t allowed. I don’t believe they were EVER contacted by anyone…
Can you read? says
Veteran knows this kid is from PC because that’s where Rymfire is.
Any child found with bringing any weapons to school should be expelled and home schooled . Start eliminating your problems before you have catastrophe……….
@Diane–I don’t whether ordering a child to be “homeschooled”, when that is the environment their behavior is coming from to begin with, is the answer.
This person says
He wasn’t being bullied, he was the bully