Guns on Florida School Campuses

The Florida Department of Education reports that 102 guns were seized in Florida schools in the 2010-11 school year. Another 35 crimes involving a gun were committed on school campuses.

Hillsborough led the state with 42 incidents involving a gun. 27 were charged with possession of a firearm. Next was Miami-Dade, followed by Palm Beach and Duval.

Interim Education Commissioner, Pam Stewart, blames the guns on Florida’s unique gun laws. "Those reports are really an indication that we're doing the right thing we take it very seriously and we won't just be lax in that area."

The same report that found Florida schools rank 6th in the nation, also found that students in a low poverty area felt almost twice as safe as those in the high poverty area.

School boards say their first priority of the coming legislative session is to have a uniformed officer at every school.

"And the second thing that we'll support is additional dollars for training in crisis management at all levels not just law enforcement, but our teachers, our administrators," said Wayne Blanton with the Florida School Boards Association.

But FSU Criminologist Gary Kleck says the research doesn’t back up the need for an officer at every school.

"There is virtually no violence in elementary schools. It's one of the safest places you can be in America; even safer than people's homes," said Kleck.

In addition to guns, another 2,042 weapons were seized in Florida schools in 2010-11 school year.

In addition to weapons, the school incident report also lists more than 600 incidents of bullying, 7,000 cases of drugs being found and 1,200 incidents involving alcohol. Bay, Escambia, Alachua and Leon did not have instances of guns on campus in 2010-2011 according to the report.


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