A mental health advocate has launched a furious defense for the 6’6″ boy, 17, who attacked and knocked a teaching aide unconscious after she took his Nintendo Switch away from him.
Sue Urban – whose 17-year-old son graduated from Matanzas High School before taking his own life – has responded to the incident where a 17-year-old special needs student, who weighs 270 pounds, attacked his teaching aide on Tuesday.
Neither the student nor the teaching aide’s names have been released publicly.
‘This is not this child’s fault. He is not a threat,’ Urban said in an emotionally Facebook Live. ‘This is a mental health issue. This is a problem with our system, it is broken.
‘That post needs to be removed from the Flagler County Sheriff’s website immediately.’
Urban, who also has a stepson in the same behavioral wing as the boy in the video, told DailyMail.com this special wing is for ‘children that are not in the general population of the high school,’ and that her son and the boy were ‘school friends,’ but in separate classes.
‘This is not just a thug,’ she told DailyMail.com. ‘People need to be educated on children that have ESE [Exceptional Student Education]. They should also be educated on impulsive aggression behavior, and that most times these children do not understand the consequences of the behavior.’
Sue Urban – whose 17-year-old son graduated from Matanzas High School before taking his own life – has responded to the incident where a 17-year-old special needs student, who weighs 270 pounds, attacked his teaching aide on Tuesday
The Matanzas High School student (pictured), who was not named due to his age, violently attacked the teaching aide after telling another student he was ‘going to kill her’ for taking his $300 handheld game away on Tuesday
She also told DailyMail.com that the child lived in a group home and his mother did not live in Flagler County, which a faculty member told her at the school board meeting on Wednesday night.
In a Facebook Live, Urban, who became a mental health advocate after her son’s death, continued: ‘That child has mental health issues. He is just that, a child.’
‘That teacher – that paraprofessional – should have never been left alone in a situation where she could have been attacked.’
Urban said she is ‘sick of these kids being labeled as a threat.’ Many have taken to social media to call for jail time for the student – who has been charged with a juvenile felony for aggravated battery – and to call the boy an ‘animal.’
He is currently in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice and could face up to five years for the attack.
‘That child should not have been transported to jail, he should have been transported to a mental health facility,’ she said on Facebook Live. ‘Please stop labeling this child as a monster. Yes, his size is a big factor, [but] he did not know he was doing wrong.
‘These kids are given extra attention in those classes. They are given leeway to have these devices, so when they do lose their tempers or if they do get into that mental space, that they can have those Switches or phones or their comfort devices, [so] that they can calm down.’
In surveillance footage, released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the hulking student, 17, of Palm Coast, can be seen rushing up to the teacher, who was also not identified, before launching her across the room
She hits the ground head-first, rendering her unconscious. The special needs student immediately begins kicking her before kneeling down to punch her in the head and torso
However, many do not agree with Urban’s position.
Kimberly Rosania told DailyMail.com that ‘one of the reasons I’m being so vocal is [their identities have] not been released. I care more about whether an innocent woman than I do a predator.’
She also claimed in a Facebook post that the school board ‘defended this behavior and this animal.’
‘Claiming his disabilities are and should keep him protected, this is insanity! If he was not stable enough to value human life over a $300.00 video game why was he among innocent lives to begin with? Why were those lives less valuable than his education? This a broken system!’
Another woman, Karen Puca, said the video was ‘concerning’ and said she would ‘love to hear how the MHS leadership is handling such nonsense’ as several have reported there were more fights this week.
Urban confirmed to DailyMail.com that a lot of fights happen at the school and that the school’s leadership needs to do better.
Her body flew several feet before she was knocked unconscious. The student had said he would ‘beat her up every time she takes away his game.’ The aide, who began working at the school in 2021, was left with severe injuries and was transported to the hospital
It takes five staff members to restrain and drag him away from her body as he fought against them
The student was arrested and taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, before being turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice. He was charged with Felony Aggravated Battery with Bodily Harm, which is punishable up to five years in Florida
Another, CH Crawley, said: ‘Put him in prison for assault and attempted murder.’
In surveillance footage, released by the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, the hulking student can be seen rushing up to the teacher, who was also not identified, before launching her across the room, her body flying several feet.
She hits the ground head-first, rendering her unconscious. The special needs student immediately begins kicking her before kneeling down to punch her in the head and torso.
Another woman runs up to the student and grabs his arm, but is unable to pull him off the aide before several others rush to drag him off her. Even after they manage to push him to the ground, he still reaches his leg out to hit her a few more times.
It takes five staff members to restrain and drag him away from her body as he fought against them.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office found the woman with ‘severe injuries’ and she was transported to the hospital for treatment.
Many disagree with Sue, saying the boy is an ‘animal’ an should go to ‘prison’
The teen claimed he would ‘beat her up every time she takes away his game,’ and spit on the teacher as deputies escorted him away, according to the arrest report.
The student was arrested and taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, before being turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
‘This could have been a homicide,’ Sheriff Rick Staly told WESH 2.
‘We hope the victim will be able to recover, both mentally and physically, from this incident,’ he said in a statement. ‘Our schools should be a safe place – for both employees and students.’
Flagler Schools Superintendent Cathy Mittelstadt agreed, saying: ‘Creating a safe learning and working environment on our campuses is critical. Violence is never an appropriate reaction.’
Matanzas High School said it had ‘no comment,’ when reached for comment.
The Flagler School Board did say at a meeting after the event that they have made it a ‘high priority’ to go over policy to ‘help with this.’
The teaching aide has worked within the school district since 2004 and started as an aide at Matanzas in 2021.