- March 8, 2023
Flagler County School Board member Christy Chong would like to see the board discuss the possibility of creating an alternative school for emotionally disturbed children prone to violence.
Her suggestion was prompted by a Flagler County Sheriff deputy's body camera video of the arrest of a Matanzas High School student charged with beating a paraprofessional unconscious on Feb. 21.
"We do need to start a conversation about an alternative school for children that are breaking the law," Chong said during new business toward the end of a board workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 22, a day after the brutal attack, which was captured by surveillance video.
"This is becoming a constant complaint across the campuses in our community. We just had the battering, beating of a faculty (member) unconscious, which is horrible. I'm hearing conversations about students who are constantly disrupting classrooms. It's not fair," Chong said. "These students need to know there's consequences when they're acting out."
Board chair Cheryl Massaro asked if there was a consensus to have a future conversation about an alternative school, and the other board members, including Colleen Conklin, who was on speaker phone, chimed in with a "yes."
John Fanelli, the district's coordinator of behavior and conduct management, told the Observer that there have been multiple alternative education schools over the years in Flagler including Devereux, Everest and Pathways.
"We currently have an alternative education program called RiseUp, which serves the same purpose," Fanelli said in an email.