Students are speaking up when they see dangers at SWFL schools

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:

We looked at whether more students are gaining possession of dangerous weapons or if other students are coming forward with more information after new details in a case from the end of last year and a new arrest of a student in Southwest Florida.

Both cases are out of schools in Lee County. Friday, we reported about a 17-year-old who was arrested after they brought a stun gun, bullets and cocaine to school. And we learned a 12-year-old arrested in December 2019 showed off a gun three times at school, even putting it toward someone’s head.

Students are speaking up, and it seems to be helping many avoid potentially tragic circumstances.

That’s what lead to a 12-year-old boy being found with a loaded gun at Harns Marsh Middle School Dec. 20, 2019.

“Some kids are saying, you know, that there was more to the story,” said Mary Fischer, a member of School Board of Lee County. “And that’s why we had the investigation.”

And school officials are cracking down on dangerous items. Samuel Kenney, 17, was arrested after bringing a stun gun, bullets and a bag with cocaine residue to Estero High School Friday.

Parents we spoke to are happy to hear students are speaking up when their peers are making the decision to bring weapons and other dangerous items like drugs to school. Lee County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies in the region preach mottos that encourage students to speak up when they see something wrong.

And parents also wonder if mass shootings such as the Parkland massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 have also acted as catalysts for students more readily speaking up about guns and other dangers at school.

The District said students also have better way to report concerning things or behavior at school. School officials also believe the crackdown on school threats has made students more open to reporting concerns.

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