Teen weapons crime statistics confirm what recent news events seem to indicate: there’s been a 73 percent increase in the number of juveniles arrested for having a gun or weapon over the last five years.
That’s according to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
A recent DCF survey was conducted on more than 50,000 Florida children in grades 6th through 12th.
According to the numbers, there was a steady decrease of children taking a gun to school -- from 1.1 percent in 2006 to 0.6 in 2018.
Students were asked if they ever belonged to a gang; 3.7 percent of them answered yes, up from 3.4 percent in 2016, and 2.3 percent of high school students reported currently being in a gang.
For Robert Lecount, a local pastor who works with troubled youth, the numbers mean as a community we must do better.
“What worries me is how they’re losing their lives so young, that there’s innocent people dying. It seems like they don't have no fear. We need to look into why it's so easy for our kids to put their hands on a firearm," Lecount said.
In 2018, 56 percent of kids surveyed said they were taunted or teased and 25.6 percent said they were a victim of cyberbullying.
Here is the link to the 2018 Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey statewide results.