Old Kings Elementary School put on Secure status Monday afternoon after latest swatting call

Buddy Taylor Middle School was locked down earlier in the day before students arrived. It was the fifth consecutive school day that swatting threats were made against Flagler County schools.

  • Palm Coast Observer
  • News
  • Share

Two more calls threatening schools in the county were made to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 20, with the latest threatening Old Kings Elementary School shortly before 3 p.m., Flagler Schools spokesman Don Foley told the Observer.

On Monday morning, the FCSO received a call threatening Buddy Taylor Middle School. The FCSO locked down BTMS before students arrived and gave the all-clear within eight minutes, Foley said.

It was the fifth consecutive school day since Tuesday, May 14, that a bomb or shooting threat was made against Buddy Taylor Middle School. In all, there have been nine "swatting calls" threatening Flagler County public and private schools since May 14. Swatting calls are hoax threats intended to set off deployment of armed law enforcement including SWAT teams.

Flagler Schools informed OKES parents of Monday's threat at 2:54 p.m. through two software, Foley said. The school was put under Secure status. Secure is the second of the district's five standard response protocols. All students are brought inside, the outside doors are locked and students and adults are all accounted for. School work continues.

The FCSO gave the all-clear at 3:03 p.m., Foley said. Students were released at 3:30 p.m. as usual.

BTMS was locked down at 7:02 a.m. Monday morning after the FCSO received a threat. The all-clear was given at 7:10 a.m., Foley said. Faculty and staff were inside the school at the time, but students had not yet arrived on campus. Buses were en route, Foley said. The school day for the district's middle schools begins at 7:30 a.m.

After the all-clear, buses were given the go-ahead to drop off students on campus, and the school day proceeded with normal operating procedures, Foley said.

Seven of the nine swatting calls made from May 14 to May 20, were called into the Sheriff's Office with one received by the Lincoln, Nebraska Police Department and relayed to the FCSO. A copy-cat bomb threat was made directly to BTMS on May 17. A 13-year-old boy was arrested for making that threat on a dare, Sheriff Rick Staly said.

A video message to Flagler Schools families from Superintendent LaShakia Moore was posted on the district's website and social media platforms on Saturday May 18.

Moore said that although it had been a very stressful week, "I will assure you we have very detailed safety protocols and our students and staff ... have implemented them extremely well. That being said, because of the intensity of this week, if you have a student at home that is in need of any support, we have a counseling team that is available and willing to provide any support that is necessary." 

Moore said all end-of-year events will go on as scheduled, "but we take these threats seriously and we will respond using our safety protocols each and every time."


Latest News


Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning local news.