JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Guns found in at least three Duval County schools Wednesday prompt a strongly-worded statement from Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.
The schools involved are Chaffee Trail Elementary, First Coast High School and Ed White High School.
Robo calls went out to hundreds of parents across the area with students in these schools.
In the Chaffee Trail Elementary School incident, the gun was located among a student's belongings as teachers were searching for another student's missing item.
A few hours later, the district confirmed a student was arrested at First Coast High School for bringing a gun to school. That weapon was discovered thanks to a tip from another student.
Police respond to fight, causes lockdown at 3 Jacksonville schools
A student at Ed White High School was arrested after a firearm was found in that student’s car. That discovery was also thanks to another student’s tip.
Last Friday, two more students at First Coast High School were arrested for bringing a stun gun to school.
Vitti sent out this statement following the repeated incidents:
"As I always indicate, one weapon brought to school is too many. Today, several were identified in schools throughout Jacksonville regardless of zip code. Thankfully, we have no evidence to indicate that students planned to use them at the school. This has been the case with each weapon discovered at schools over the years. To stop these incidents from reoccurring, we need active parent and guardian involvement. Weapons are arriving to our schools from homes and neighborhoods. We will continue to conduct random searches, which we have expanded, and will continue to actively investigate tips and student behavior. However, parents and guardians must check children's belongings from backpacks to vehicles before school. More importantly, they must monitor their children's friends and peer groups, including social media activity and activities outside of the home. Bringing a weapon to school is completely unacceptable. We have, and will, continue to apply expulsion and criminal charges to any student who brings a weapon to school. As a society, though, we must also begin to hold our parents and guardians accountable to the expectation that their involvement and supervision is critical to protecting the safety of their children and also those of the greater society, including school personnel and other children. We encourage students to continue to own the safe school environment they demand by informing personnel of the presence of weapons. In turn, as a team of educators, we will continue to forge relationships with students, parents, and the community to prevent incidents like these from occurring."
In a previous interview with Action News Jax, Vitti called these incidents “a manifestation of what’s happening in the home or greater community and not the school”.
The students involved in the incidents may face serious criminal charges and even get expelled from school.
Cox Media Group