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Leon County Schools leadership works to keep guns off campus

Posted at 11:15 PM, Sep 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 23:24:25-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — According to an email from Principal Desmond Cole, members of the Godby High school security team searched their student parking lot and found a handgun in the glove compartment of a student's car. It's a safety breach becoming far too common this year in the Leon County School district.

Wednesday's gun discovery at Godby is the sixth incident since the district began school on Aug. 11, with others occurring at the Ghazvini Learning Center, Griffin Middle School and Ace-Adult and Community Education.

School Resource Officer Deputy Paul Emmons said kids are likely finding the weapons at home, or in unlocked parked cars.

"We need to make sure that we're locking our vehicles or taking our weapons out of our vehicles and securing them in good spots and keeping them out of the reach of kids," Emmons said.

When deputies find students with guns, they're arrested on third-degree felony charges, which Emmons reminds can affect students throughout adulthood.

"Far as them being in school and now having a criminal record, and you know they go to fill out a job application later on or a college application, later on, you'll have to put that information down because they ask those questions," added Emmons.

Emmons also presented this information during Tuesday evening's school board meeting, where Leon County Safety and Security Chief John Hunkiar detailed some of the ways the district is working to prevent future occurrences.

"Over the last three years, with your support, we've added two school safety analysts, that follow up on information through our network as well as information on social media, or reports from parents or reports that come in through our district security center," Hunkiar said. "We're also establishing district security stations at all of our high schools."

Both Hunkiar and Emmons said they were able to resolve all six incidents because of open lines of communication with community members. So remember, if you see something, or if you hear something, say something.