PALM COAST – A stunning eleven Matanzas High School students were arrested by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Monday following a brawl on-campus. The arrests make an even dozen Matanzas students arrested in the last week alone.
According to a release sent out by the FCSO, two school resource deputies responded at around 1:00 pm to a disturbance in the hallway between the 5 and 6 buildings. They’re said to have found a large crowd of students gathered around a large fight, which teachers and faculty were already trying to break up. Efforts began to get the crowd of onlookers to leave the area, and to separate the students who were presently fighting one another.
Three students were accused of and later charged with assaulting faculty during the melee. One, a 14-year-old, is said to have pushed one of the SRDs in an attempt to get to another student. A second, a 17-year-old, is said to have punched an employee in the shoulder during the chaos. A third, another 17-year-old, is said to have battered an administrator while they were taking another student away from the scene.
These three students were arrested and booked at the county jail. The 14-year-old was charged with disorderly conduct, disruption of a school function, and felony resisting a law enforcement officer with violence. The two 17-year-olds were both charged with felony battery on a school official, with the third student also charged with disorderly conduct.
The FCSO referred the eight remaining students to the State Attorney’s Office, recommending misdemeanor charges. Parents were all notified after the incident occurred. The names of the three students who were physically arrested were made available by the FCSO, but will not be disseminated in this publication.
“The lack of respect demonstrated by these students is simply shameful,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “But actions have consequences. Parents, be the Sheriff in your home and teach your kids the importance of respecting teachers, staff, and deputies. Teach them how to handle disagreements and that fighting only leads to more violence. We have a zero-tolerance policy for violence at schools, and you will be arrested. I also commend our school resource deputies and the Matanzas High School staff for quickly getting a very volatile situation under control before anyone was seriously hurt.”
Staly has had to address three incidents leading to arrests in Flagler County’s two high schools over the last week, including two individual arrests made at Flagler Palm Coast High School and Matanzas High School on Wednesday and Friday respectively. Overall, 13 high school students have been arrested in Flagler County in just a five-day span.
“I agree with what our Sheriff has said in the past,” added Superintendent LaShakia Moore. “This type of behavior is not to be tolerated by anyone. That said, these actions are not indicative of the thousands of students who come to our campuses each and every day to learn. There are so many students, teachers, administrators, and staff who work every day to promote and celebrate a positive school culture at their schools. This is an opportunity for our parents and guardians to reinforce the good choices their children decide to make and remind them why it is important to be successful in life.”