Florida: 11 Matanzas High School Students Charged After Brawl
The incident occurred three days after another Matanzas High student was arrested for fighting a student and biting a staff member.
PALM COAST, Fla. — Nearly a dozen Matanzas High School students are facing charges following a large fight earlier this week.
Three students, ranging from ages 14 to 17, were arrested on felony charges and taken to the Flagler County Jail, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) said in a press release. Eight other students were not physically arrested but are facing misdemeanor charges, including breach of peace and disturbance of a school function.
The brawl broke out around 1 p.m. Monday in a hallway between campus buildings. FCSO deputies responded to the disturbance and attempted to help two school resources officers (SROs) and other school staff break up the fight and disperse the onlooking crowd, reports WESH. During the brawl, an SRO was pushed by a 14-year-old female student who attempted to attack another student. That student was arrested for disorderly conduct, disruption of a school function, and felony resisting an officer with violence.
A deputy said a 17-year-old male student was arrested for felony battery on a school official after he charged at a school staff member and punched him. Another 17-year-old boy allegedly assaulted a school administrator as they were escorting a student away from the fight. The teen was arrested for disorderly conduct and felony battery on a school official.
“This lack of respect for teachers and staff will not be tolerated in our schools,” FCSO Sheriff Rick Staly wrote in a press release. “School staff and teachers are here to teach you. Don’t fight in school. It takes a bigger person to walk away from a fight and de-escalate the situation than to engage in a fight or attack a faculty member.”
Staly also called on parents to help mitigate school violence.
“I don’t think there’s good parenting that’s going on. The parents want to be friends and not parents. So parents need to be parents first and then a friend later to their child,” he said. “We just need the parents to help us teach their kids because we get involved when it’s too late. At that point, you know, there’s there’s no talking. There’s handcuffs at that point.”
Other Matanzas High Students Previously Arrested for Attacking School Employees
Monday’s fight is the second violent incident reported at Matanzas High School in less than a week. A 16-year-old student was arrested on Oct. 6 after she got into a fight with another student and bit a school employee who was trying to break it up, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. The teen bit the employee several times on the forearm and broke the skin. The incident occurred in the school’s courtyard.
The student was charged with battery on a school official and was transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility before being transferred to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
In another incident back in February, a 17-year-old Matanzas High student brutally attacked a school employee. Video released by law enforcement shows the teen rushing toward the paraprofessional and violently shoving her to the ground, knocking her unconscious. The boy, who stands 6’6″ tall and weighs 270 pounds, then jumped on top of her and kicked and punched her in the back and the back of the head about 15 times, according to a charging affidavit.
The student was charged as an adult with felony aggravated battery with bodily harm, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. The teen’s attorney filed a motion arguing he was not mentally competent to stand trial and should not be tried as an adult. The lawyer said the boy is on the autism spectrum and was living in a group home that “helps children, teens and adults with autism, intellectual disabilities, and behavior challenges.” A judge ruled in June that he was mentally competent to stand trial.
The teen was being held at the Duval Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Jacksonville but was transferred to the Flagler County Jail in August when he turned 18. A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for Oct. 11 after being rescheduled back in September.
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