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Palm Coast Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 6 months ago

Rymfire Elementary student, 11, charged with bringing a knife to school

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The boy threatened another student, according to a Sheriff's Office report.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

An 11-year-old Rymfire Elementary School student was arrested Jan. 8 after bringing a large kitchen knife to school in his backpack and threatening another student, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. 

The 13-year-old victim reported to a sixth-grade teacher near the end of the school day that the 11-year-old had threatened to murder him, and that the 11-year-old had a knife, according to an FCSO charging affidavit.

The victim was "very upset," the teacher told a deputy and the school's assistant principal.

Several other students witnessed the encounter and confirmed to the teacher that the 11-year-old had threatened the 13-year old, and that the younger boy had a knife.

The teacher had also seen the 11-year-old boy toss an object over a school fence.

When the assistant principal asked the 11-year-old about the incident, the boy at first said he hadn't had a knife and that the object he'd tossed over the fence had been a comb.

But a physical education instructor found a knife near the fence line, and deputies seized it as evidence. 

The boy, when confronted with the evidence of the knife, said he hadn't intended to use it on anyone, according to the affidavit.

The victim's parent said she wanted to press charges for assault.

Because the alleged threat did not occur with law enforcement present, the boy could not be physically arrested on the misdemeanor assault charge, which has been submitted to the State Attorney’s Office, according to an FCSO news release. But he was arrested on a felony charge of exhibiting a weapon on school property.

“We are glad the students that knew about the knife on campus came forward and reported it to their teacher,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in the news release. “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.” 

“Providing a safe and secure learning environment is of top priority for our school system and we take these incidents very seriously," Flagler Schools Superintendent James Tager said in the news release. "Extensive security measures are in place to help us maintain a safe campus. As parents, you can help. Please 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.”

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