Mother says son went jail for ‘people bullying him’

Reporter: Taylor Petras
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

It’s the first day in weeks that no threats circulated at Lee County schools. It’s also the first time a mother is stepping forward to address what she believes is the root of the cause.

Patricia Campbell is defending her son Trayvon Campbell, 17, Friday after deputies say the teen threatened to shoot another student and “shoot up” Fort Myers High School.

“He’s just tired of people bullying him,” Campbell said. “They didn’t show all of the stuff they started with.”

Six Lee County school district students have been arrested since Monday for making school threats — Campbell’s son included. Investigators arrested Campbell Thursday at the high school. He is accused of sending a text message that said he would “shoot up” the school if he had too.

“He’s not the type of child,” Campbell said. “He’s not gonna harm nobody.”

School resource officers are building relationships, so students feel comfortable going to them about threats and other problems they may have.

“He could have said something better,” Campbell said. “But when you have someone saying your family is going to be arranging funerals, funeral arrangements for you, what else would you say?”

Bullying is the main cause that Campbell and her son said landed him in jail.

“He’s been on edge for a while because they’ve been picking with him for a while since he started school,” Campbell said.

Deputy reports show the school resource officer at the high school was one of the first to learn about the threat.

“We want them to feel comfortable coming up to us and talking to us about things,” Sgt. Johnathan Armato with Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.

Armato supervises the LCSO school resource officer program. He said deputies constantly remind students of the fake threats, real consequences mentality. He said the conversation needs to continue at home.

“The parents need to just sit down and have daily conversations with their kids regarding their day at school, what’s going on,” Armato said. “Are they having any issues. Have you talked to your SRO.”

That’s what Campbell said she plans to do with her son.

“I’m going to have a very long talk with him because I have a lot of stuff that me and him have to discuss,” Campbell said.

Officials at the school district said 535 Fort Myers High School students skipped school Friday.

Campbell will spend the maximum 21 days in juvenile detention.

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