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State Attorney meets with LCS on recent rise in guns on campuses

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 18:09:01-05

"We're all very disturbed by the fact that we're seeing more and more violence in our schools and more and more gun play both in the schools and in the community," said State Attorney Jack Campbell.

Campbell met with Leon County School Administration to talk about the recent rise in weapons on school campuses.

"We all want to make sure that when we send our kids to school, that they're going to be safe," said Campbell.

Campbell is working with Leon County Schools to help keep guns off campuses. This comes after a seventh gun was found on a school campus this school year. A tip given to a school resource deputy Tuesday led to the arrest of a Leon High School student for having a loaded weapon and drugs in his car.

While a student can report a gun on campus directly to a school official, Chief of Safety and Security Jimmy Williams said the district now has an anonymous app for students to report issues like this directly to administration 24/7.

Since the launch of the Anonymous App in February, students have submitted 112 tips; 72 of which were actionable by the district.

Williams said that open communication between students and staff is vital to keeping guns off campus.

"Most every gun that we find comes as a result as a tip from a student to administration or either a student or family member to the school resource deputy," said Williams.

Williams said the district is also working on a new campaign to make students aware of the dangers and consequences of brining a gun to school.

He said once a student is found with a weapon on campus, they are suspended, and the district will move for expulsion immediately. However, Campbell wants students to know if you bring a gun to school, you won't just be punished with the school district, but in the judicial system too.

"You need to know that we're going to take you out and you're probably not going to be able to ever come back to that school and I'm going to very severely punish. If you use that gun, there's a good chance you're going to end up being treated as an adult and going to prison," said Campbell.

LCS has also introduced a weapon detecting dog, named Stassi, to patrol high schools. Williams believes the implementation of these protocols will help keep weapons off campus.

"If the pup patrol, the anonymous app and all the things that we're doing here in Leon County at our school district prevents students from bringing guns to schools, then it's a success for us."

Williams said the new campaign talking to students in classrooms and on social media about the dangers and consequences of weapons being on campus will be coming in the next few months.