PALM COAST, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - In December of last year, the Flagler County School District said it had discovered two students exchanged threatening messages online about one of their teachers.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office investigated the alleged incident, involving the Flagler Palm Coast High School students. Investigators revealed that the messages were between a male student and a female student and included threatening and racist messages about an African-American teacher at the school. The messages were exchanged on school issued computers, they said.
The students were questioned and admitted to sending the messages, according to investigators, but they denied that they ever intended to harm the teacher.
The teacher, Kimberly Lee, appeared at a news conference not long after the incident, alongside officials with the Flagler County branch of the NAACP. Leaders with the group organized the event to call on theState Attorney’s Office to increase the charges against the two students to felony-level aggravated assault charges.
"Unfortunately, I don't feel safe anymore in my classroom,” Lee said at the time.
The investigation and evidence was provided by Sheriff's Office detectives to the State Attorney’s Office on May 10. The State Attorney’s Office supported a charge agains the 16-year-old female student of written threats to kill; however, it did not support charging the second suspect.
“I made this case a top priority for the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “Our investigators needed time to do an excellent job, which they did with this case. Our teachers deserve our appreciation and should never feel threatened with harm by anyone. Hatred and threats of violence have no place in our schools or our community.”
The teenager was arrested, processed at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach, Florida.