A 17-year-old student at Matanzas High School in Palm Coast, Florida was arrested Tuesday after he shoved a teacher’s aide so hard she flew in the air several feet. He then pounded her head into the floor, all because she took his Nintendo Switch away from him during class, according to police. He later spit on the victim and said when he comes back he would kill her, police said.
Video shows the 6 foot, six inch, 270 pound student raced after the woman, sent her flying across the floor and knocking her unconscious when she landed on her head. The student then kicked and repeatedly punched the victim in the head and body as she was knocked out until he was dragged away by several school employees and students.
Press release by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office:
Matanzas High School Student Arrested After Violently Attacking Paraprofessional School Employee
BUNNELL, FL – On February 21, 2023, the FCSO School Resource Deputies assigned to Matanzas High School were alerted to a paraprofessional employee being physically attacked on campus. Upon arrival, deputies located the female paraprofessional on the ground with severe injuries after an unprovoked attack by a male student.
The student was escorted from the area and later placed in custody. The 17-year-old student was transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and later turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice. The student has been charged with Felony Aggravated Battery with Bodily Harm.
The student stated that he was upset because the victim took his Nintendo Switch away from him during class. On surveillance footage from within the school, the student who is approximately 6’6” and 270 pounds, is shown walking fast toward the victim and pushing the victim several feet, knocking her to the school floor, which knocked her unconscious. The student is then shown kicking and punching the unconscious victim several times in the back and head. Others rushed in to help the victim who was unconscious during the entire assault and unable to protect herself. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries.
“The actions of this student are absolutely horrendous and completely uncalled for,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “We hope the victim will be able to recover, both mentally and physically, from this incident. Thankfully, students and staff members came to the victim’s aid before the SRDs could arrive. Our schools should be a safe place – for both employees and students.”
“Creating a safe learning and working environment on our campuses is critical. Violence is never an
appropriate reaction,” said Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt.
WESH-TV video report shows the student being handcuffed (raw arrest video at Facebook):
A copy of the arrest video was posted to Twitter:
BUNNELL, Florida – On February 21, 2023, the FCSO School Resource Deputies assigned to Matanzas High School were alerted to a paraprofessional employee being physically attacked on campus. Upon arrival, deputies located the female paraprofessional on the ground with severe… https://t.co/w5CpZIFuhk pic.twitter.com/rB9EhOfGIr
— Denn Dunham (@DennD68) February 22, 2023
A separate controversy arose after the attack when a newly elected conservative school board member, Christy Chong, objected at a meeting to a LGBTQ sign in a classroom that was seen in the arrest video of the student. The superintendent said it would be taken care of.
It was almost in the same breath. Flagler County School Board member Christy Chong had just decried a Matanzas High School student’s attack on a teacher aide there. Not a minute into her comment at the end of Tuesday’s School Board workshop, she also demanded that a “safe space” poster associated with LGBTQ groups and anti-bullying be removed from a Matanzas classroom.
“I’ll take care of it,” Superintendent Cathy Mittlestadt said.
The moment was a startling illustration of a central contradiction in the ultra-conservative doctrine that culture warriors like Chong, newly elected to the school board, represent: a zero-tolerance attitude toward students who are disruptive or violent at school, paired with zero tolerance for LGBTQ messaging aiming to protect students from denigration, bullying or violence at school.
“This is a safe space for LGBTQ students and their allies,” the sign read. It was written in white letters against a rectangular rainbow, itself against a broader light-pink background surrounded by the likeness of a white picket fence.
…The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released a video of the arrest of the 17-year-pold student at Matanzas. As the student was being escorted out of one room, handcuffed and, at that point, submissive, a deputy with a body cam following, the camera for less than two seconds captured the LGBTQ sigh near the door–the sign Chong seized on in those two seconds.
“Let me try to choose my words carefully,” she said. “But within that classroom, there was a poster on the wall pushing the LGBTQ agenda. And I want to know how much of this is going on in our schools. Like, I really do. If we can’t hang bible verses or pray, then we shouldn’t be pushing any kind of agenda in our schools. Our children are going there to have an education and not to have other things be pushed down their throats, especially sexuality.”
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