91ºF

School officials: 4th-grader brings pocketknife to Fleming Island Elementary

Father upset over delayed notification from Clay County school district

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A Clay County parent expressed frustration after a student indirectly threatened his son with a knife at school Friday and wasn't notified by school officials until days later.

Kyle Fater said his son Ansel Fater is a fourth-grade student at Fleming Island Elementary.

When Fater learned that a student had threatened to harm his son, he told News4Jax he wanted changes made from the school's principal.

Clay County school officials confirmed the incident and issued a statement saying the student was disciplined for it.

"The district was informed that a fourth grade student brought a pocket knife to Fleming Island Elementary on Friday, January 13. The student made an indirect threat to cause harm to another student. The pocket knife was confiscated by school officials and the student has been disciplined as outlined in our Code of Student Conduct. Parents at the fourth grade level were notified about the incident and safety precautions were implemented per best practices. We take the safety of all students and staff very seriously and are thankful for the proactive measures taken by all when these incidents occur. The safety of our students and staff will continue to be our greatest priority."

But Fater said the disciplinary action taken was not enough and wants the student who threatened his son to face a harsher penalty.

The student, who News4Jax has chosen not to name, was found to have a penknife in his possession on Friday. 

Fater said he didn't learn about the incident until this past weekend from other parents.

“They just contacted me via text to ask me if I heard about the knife situation at the school," Fater said. "I had not heard anything at that point, so I inquired and found out that a child brought a knife to school with the intention of stabbing him.”

Fater was more upset that the school never notified him the day the incident happened.

“I get a call for every bump on the head from the nurse, but for something of this magnitude to not be contacted was alarming because it truly make we wonder what else is being covered up and why am I not being contacted about this,” Fater said.

When he went to the principal for answers, he said he was not notified because there was no actual verbal or physical altercation between the boys.

On Tuesday, the principal notified parents via a phone message about the incident.

“We had a fourthgrader who brought a small penknife to school. At no time was any student in danger. The penknife was confiscated and the student received consequences in according with the school board student code of conduct," the principal's audio recorded message stated.

Fater gave a stern message for Clay County school administrators.

“If he’s not going to protect our children, he needs to get out," Fater said. "He either needs to resign voluntarily or involuntarily and put someone else in there who is going to protect our children.”

As for Ansel, he said is now worried to go to school.

“I do kind of fear for tomorrow if I go to school," Ansel said. "It can be scary because the kid is back and you don’t know if he’s angry or anything like that.”

Fater said he has spoken with the other student's parents, but nothing positive came from the conversation. He said he has also filed a report with the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

 


About the Author: