Statement Regarding Incident at Blake Academy

Statement Regarding Incident at Blake Academy

Polk County Public schools news release graphic.

We are aware of an incident at Blake Academy involving a student who made a TikTok video about another student.

On Monday the video was reported to school staff, who immediately began reviewing the incident and reported it to district staff. We discovered that the video had been created during the previous weekend – not on school property – and thus was not a situation where we would have the authority to handle the matter with school discipline.

Blake Academy staff met with the parent of the alleged victim and explained the situation, and the parent wanted to file charges. The school’s resource officer assisted her with that process, and the Lakeland Police Department is forwarding this case to the State Attorney’s Office for additional review.

School staff have also interviewed both students and conducted an investigation to determine if bullying has been occurring. To this point we have found no evidence that any bullying has taken place during their time together at Blake Academy.

School staff have done their best to work with the parent of the alleged victim and make changes that have been requested. The parent has returned to the school multiple times this week alleging that Blake Academy and the Lakeland Police Department are ignoring the situation, which is patently false.

The parent’s behavior has escalated to a point of disrupting school operations, which resulted in her being trespassed from campus.

It has also come to our attention that a local organization has issued a press release that grossly misrepresents the facts of this situation. It should be noted that the child who made the video was not arrested, despite the online claims. We reiterate that the Lakeland Police Department is referring this matter to the State Attorney’s Office to determine if charges are warranted.

It’s not uncommon for students, especially children of this age, to do foolish things on social media. We take all of these incidents seriously and investigate them to determine if there is a credible threat to anyone’s safety.

School staff and law enforcement have been diligent and thorough in their response to this situation. Our staff has worked with the parent to the best of their ability, and we will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as needed.