Two students at Flagler Palm Coast High School were charged with assault on Wednesday morning following an incident that began at the school on Monday, according to a report filed with Historic City News this morning.
Over the weekend, High School staff notified School Resource Deputies on campus that a 16-year-old female and a 16-year-old male were using their school issued computers to formulate plans to harm one of their teachers.
The two students were brought to the dean’s office on Monday, accompanied by School Resource Deputies. In addition to extremely racist language, the e-mail exchange between the students included specific threats to harm Kimberley Lee. During the student interviews, each student dismissed their comments as “inappropriate jokes”. The initial investigation was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Division and Domestic Homeland Security Section for follow-up.
On Tuesday investigators conducted an interview with the victim, who reported to detectives that she believes the students can harm her. After reading the communication, Lee says her fears are well-founded. Lee told detectives that she wishes to press charges “to the fullest extent of the law”.
This morning, the sheriff’s office reported that charges were forwarded to the 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office alleging that the students made intentional and unlawful threats to harm Lee; and in doing so, they created a well-founded fear that such violence was possible. Each student is facing enhanced assault charges allowed under Florida law in cases involving hate crimes.
Flagler County’s Chief of Investigative Services, Steve Brandt, explained that the facts, as determined by his investigators, “did not meet the required elements for a felony charge.” For that reason, a physical arrest was not made this morning. If the recommended charges are confirmed by State Attorney R. J. Larizza, an arrest warrant will be obtained at that time.