When it comes to troubled students, Flagler County tries to help first

By Brittany Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 9:19 PM EST

Officials reported the accused shooter in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was expelled from the school a year before this tragedy happened.

  • Local school districts discuss how they deal w/ troubled students
  • Flagler, Volusia counties say they haven't expelled in a while
  • Flagler official says they work w/ students to get them help
  • RELATED: LIVE UPDATES: Tragedy at high school in Parkland

Reports say Nikolas Cruz was aggressive and made threats toward students in the past. But he allegedly made his way back onto campus.

Local school districts are explaining how they deal with troubled students.

"She’s the only one we have left, I can’t even think about it," said Carmen Stanford, parent of a Flagler County student.

Carmen Stanford said she wouldn't know how to feel if this happened at her daughter's school after she watched the scene unfold at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida.

"Absolutely devastated, this is for me my biggest nightmare," Stanford said.

Stanford said it’s unsettling wondering how the shooter had access into the school, and believes maybe extra precautions could be taken to possibly prevent that type of tragedy locally.

"Maybe notifying the school's front desk that this is someone that’s had some mental issues, who has been expelled from our schools. If you see him notify the authorities -- do not let him on school grounds," Stanford said.

Both Flagler County and Volusia County school districts said it’s been a long time since they’ve expelled a student from school.

The community information specialist for Flagler County said they work with students to get them help, like meeting with on-campus psychologists or making sure they have daily interaction.

"We try not to expel students. We’ve lowered our out-of-school suspension as well,” said Jason Wheeler. “We look for educational opportunities for students who may have these behavioral issues or such so that we keep them and their parents engaged in learning opportunities.”

The Flagler County Sheriff's Office said they don't have a special system to track expelled students in Flagler County, but they work closely with school administrators and internally to discuss all people of interest or situations that are being looked into.

"I feel that I have to trust them, and I don’t have another choice, and really hope for the best that it never happens in our schools," Stanford said.

Flagler parents said they are hopeful every school will one day have a full-time resource officer on every campus.

The sheriff's office says it will have increased patrols at their schools again Friday