FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. - Flagler County deputies said two white students at Flagler Palm Coast High School talked about killing their black teacher and made racist remarks about her on their school-issued computers.
Investigators said the threats were made on Monday and the students were arrested Wednesday.
Deputies said one of those students made those remarks because she was upset the teacher would not let her make up work.
The students claim it was all a joke, but the teacher told deputies she feared for her life.
Deputies released part of the chat transcript of the remarks Wednesday morning. They appear to show the students messaging about killing their language arts teacher, Kimberly Lee.
According to investigators, one of the students asked, “When are we killing her?” The other student said, “Tonight. I already know her address.”
"I was appalled at the language these students were using and the threats made toward this teacher," said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. "These racial tones have no place in our community. The Flagler County Sheriff's Office has a zero tolerance policy on school threats.”
I was appalled at the language these students were using and the threats made toward this teacher. These racial tones have no place in our community. The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office has a zero tolerance policy on school threats. https://t.co/vYcS8unexI— Sheriff Rick Staly (@SheriffRicStaly) December 12, 2018
Deputies said the students were on their school-issued laptops messaging each other over the school's WiFi when the conversation was intercepted, and a teacher reported the conversation to deputies.
When they confronted the students, they told investigators it was all just a joke.
Investigators said they do not believe the students actually knew where Lee lived.
Deputies said Lee bought a gun and asked to have deputies send an extra unit by her home to make sure she was safe.
The students face the misdemeanor charge of simple assault with the enhancement of a hate crime.
"More serious felony charges were explored, but the facts of this case did not meet the required elements for a felony charge," said Chief Steve Brandt, chief of investigative services, in a statement.
School administrators also met with community members Wednesday to discuss school safety in Flagler County.
The student-led Community Problem Solvers at Flagler Palm Coast High School to discuss plans to increase student safety.
The plan outlines several ideas including enhanced first aid training for teachers, FCSO K-9s conducting more random patrols and drones used to monitor the school’s perimeter.
Students also unveiled a proposed a classroom survival kit. The kit would include latex gloves, gauze and tampons, which can be used to restrict bleeding in a bullet wound.
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