A 14-year-old Flagler Palm Coast High School student, a boy, was arrested and faces a second-degree felony charge of written threats to kill after allegedly threatening to shoot a fellow-student after she’d contacted him and argued with him by Snapchat on Wednesday.
School officials became aware of the threat. The school’s threat assessment team met. Such teams are established in every school and serve in part as a means of gauging the sort of threats or security issues that come to light, often resolving the issues internally or administratively, through the school’s own investigations and disciplinary measures. On occasions, the team judges the matter as warranting law enforcement’s intervention, as it did in this case.
According to the information the dean passed on to a Flagler County Sheriff’s school resource deputy, the 14-year-iold girl had messaged the boy around noon Wednesday, asking him if he intended to fight another student at the school. The recipient, whose Snapchat handle is itself a vulgarity playing on the appropriation of a part of a woman’s genitalia, responded with a vulgarity and told the girl to mind her own business. A Snapchat argument between the two followed. The boy then messaged: “Wanna talk shit imma shoot yo ass to.” He then added that he knew where the girl lives. The boy had previously dated a friend of the girl’s, so his knowing where she lives was no fiction.
The girl told school officials that she and the boy had communicated on Snapchat before, and that his trash-talking was routine. But she became afraid because he had images of himself on Instagram holding what appeared to be firearms, and told school officials she believed he would shoot her. The girl’s mother wanted to pursue charges.
The deputy met with the boy at his grandmother’s, with whom he lives in a P-Section house, and with his father, who lives in new Smyrna Beach, on a speaker phone. The boy owned up to having the two social media accounts in question. He confirmed having a heated exchange with the girl, but he did not remember what was actually said. And the alleged firearms in the picture were an airsoft pistol (though his arrest report notes that the weapon in the image did not have the orange tip that normally differentiates an airsoft pistol from an actual firearm. Airtsoft guns can look uncannily like firearms). His grandmother assured the deputy he did not have access to firearms.
The boy was arrested and processed at the Flagler County jail, but not detained there. He was taken to Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach. Unless he has grave prior records, he would normally be returned to his guardian’s custody pending appearances in court. The charge he faces is a second-degree felony. Disposition usually entails a form of probation and other penalties that do not involve incarceration. Students who face such charges are typically removed from the school environment, their education carried on through alternate means ensured by the district, though the school year is at its end.