FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Addressing the ongoing situation targeting Flagler Schools referred to as ‘swatting’, Flagler Schools Superintendent LaShakia Moore, Flagler School Board Chairman Will Furry and Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly addressed the public on Thursday presenting a united front.

Moore gave parents assurances that with the end of the school year just days away, absences will be excused for parents concerned about sending their students to school.

“We will follow our safety protocol. We will follow the lead of the sheriff’s office when it comes to the safety of our schools,” said Moore. “But we’re not going to just put our kids in a room and not do the things that we have planned to do because someone is making these types of calls.”

“As an educator, as a superintendent, I will tell you, bring your child to school. We’re going to have a normal rest of the year with lots of fun activities planned for our students, but it’s a parent’s right to decide. What we have done and will continue to do is excuse absences for families who decide to keep their child at home,” she said.

As law enforcement and first responder agencies address the situation that has disrupted classes and left families on edge, Sheriff Staly urged parents to remember they would be liable for costs associated with the multi-day response should their child be found to be part of the felony calls, which he guessed was between $8-10,000 at the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office alone.

“If that person is under age 18, parents, Florida law allows us to charge and seek reimbursement and you’re responsible for your kid,” said Staly. “If this person is a juvenile, living in your house, under the age of 18, at 18 they own it, but until then, you own it, you’re responsible.”

The Homeland Security section and Real Time Crime Center of the Sheriff’s Office is fully active addressing the situation, and Staly was careful not to compromise the investigation by oversharing leads gathered.

He did talk about the impact of the calls on the responders and agencies.

“It’s a priority call. It’s concerning to the deputies responding because you don’t know what you’re going to walk into but yet you’ve taken an oath to go through that door and protect the community and in this case, the kids,” shared Staly.

“In a couple cases they’re giving us specific locations,” said Staly.  “Sometimes they’re not saying anything specific other than the school itself and that they will shoot any responding law enforcement officer.”

Staly did not think the swatting incidents were being used to distract law enforcement, allowing other crimes in the community to take place.

“We have no indications that was a ploy to commit another crime somewhere else. In my career that has been done but there is no indication that was done in this case,” he said.

Flagler County School Board Chairman Will Furry was clear on the district’s response to student safety.

“They are cowards. After walking through the massacre scene at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas building, what I learned there is every second matters, right, so we are unwavering when it comes to safety and security,” said Furry.

“We will always respond from the district with our security protocols and with our partnership with the sheriff. We’re confident that we will always respond to these matters as we need to. Remember, these folks only have to be right one time. We have to be right every time.”

Call the non-emergency number to send a tip at 386-313-4911. Students are asked to report suspicious activity to a dean or faculty at their school.