For the second time in two days, a student in a Palm Coast school was arrested on a felony charge of related to threats against the school. On Tuesday, an 18-year-old student at Matanzas High School was arrested for posting a song making explicit death threats against a dean at Matanzas. On Wednesday, a student at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School off Belle Terre Parkway in Palm Coast, was arrested for threatening to shoot up and blow up the school. That student is 11 years old.
During lunch period Tuesday at the private parochial school off Belle Terre Parkway in Palm Coast, an 11-year-old student approached another and told her that he had made, which he showed her, had a gun, which he didn’t show her, and that he planned to shoot up the school and plant bombs around the school on Wednesday.
The girl, who told deputies she was not a friend of the boy’s, didn’t know whether he would make good on his threat, but she felt afraid. She told her mother, and was afraid to go to school the next day. Her mother wrote an email to school principal Barbara Kavanagh, summarizing what her daughter had said and hoping that something would be done.
Kavanaugh informed the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy interviewed three students–the boy who’d allegedly made the threats, the girl, and one other boy who told the deputy that the 11 year old had also told him what he’d told the girl. That boy thought the 11 year old might have been joking, but was no less afraid of what might happen.
When deputies interviewed the student in his father’s presence, the student “immediately stated he was joking with his friends and fell into a somber appearance,” according to the arrest report. He characterized the alleged threats as jokes, and said he had neither bombs nor a gun. The deputy searched his backpack, found the mace and also found a small, 2.5-inch knife, both of which were turned over to the boy’s father.
The student was placed under arrest and taken to the Flagler County jail for processing, though not for holding. The Department of Juvenile Justice will be contacted to inquire if they will accept the child or release him to his father.
“This is the second arrest this week for making threats and then claiming they were just joking,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in a release. “Parents please talk to your kids about wrong and right and keep track of what they’re bringing to school in their backpacks. Do not be surprised when we come knocking on your door after hearing about a bomb threat your child has made. Saying you were just joking is not going to make deputies turn around and leave. We take all threats very seriously and your child will be arrested. Be the Sheriff in your home before we have to be the Sheriff for your child. We do not like making these arrests so help us prevent it by talking to your child.”