Sheriff Staly Keeps Details Tight on Flagler Schools Threats


Flagler Sheriff Rick Staly gave a press conference to the local media on Thursday concerning a hectic few days for the county’s schools: three days in a row now one or more schools had received violent threats causing varying levels of security response and disarray. Staly was joined by School Board Chair Will Furry and Superintendent LaShakia Moore, who shared from the school district’s perspective.

Not much information was shared that would be actionable for the community, but a few new details were disclosed. For one, the person or persons making the threats had done so to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Volusia Sheriff’s Office, and even a police dispatch in Lincoln, Nebraska. That last detail was equally confusing to Staly and the dispatchers in both locations.

School Board Chair Will Furry and Superintendent LaShakia Moore.
School Board Chair Will Furry and Superintendent LaShakia Moore.

Staly confirmed that, at least for now, the audio of the calls would not be released to the public. He declined to go into specifics about what the Sheriff’s Office knows of the perpetrator’s identity, or whether they utilized technology to mask themselves. Asked whether he had evidence beyond the phone calls, Staly took a long pause and peered at one of investigators at the back of the room. He said, choosing his words very carefully, that evidence had been gathered but not of the traditional kind. He declined to elaborate.

The entire press conference, which Staly said would be unaccompanied until there was an arrest, was as conducted begrudgingly. “We don’t wanna feed this caller’s sick ego,” Staly said. He also confirmed that there was no reason to believe, at this time at least, that the caller was attempting to draw units away from elsewhere in the community in order to insulate a separate crime.

When Furry gave his remarks his tone invoked that of Volusia Sheriff Mike Chitwood when he brashly rallied last year against anti-Semitic threats. "Stop it now," Furry said, before calling the perpetrator a coward and assuring them they'd be brought to justice.

Superintendent Moore confirmed that any school absences stemming from the incidents, including parents choosing not to send their kids to school, would be excused through the end of the school year. She reiterated that the district was striving to balance timely communication with the safety of students and faculty, and thanked the Flagler County Sheriff's Office for their assistance.

If arrested, the perpetrator would be facing several third-degree felony charges, one for each call placed. If they're a minor, their parents may also be prosecuted. Staly estimated the cost of the responses so far has been somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000 to $10,000.