Another young student was arrested, this time caught with a stun gun on campus. It happened at Lehigh Acres Middle School. Parents say it is shocking to hear that a child as young as 12 made the decision to bring a weapon to school.
Parents said they worry about their children’s safety after hearing of multiple arrests this school year where students either brought weapons to school or made violent plans.
“I thought, ‘oh my god, this is crazy!'” That was the reaction of Brittany Moore. Her daughter attends Lehigh Acres Middle School. She says hearing about multiple student arrests across the district this year makes her concerned for her daughter’s safety.
Lehigh Acres Middle School Principal Brian Gibson said in an email to parents:
“In the spirit of open communication, I want to let you know that one of our students was arrested today for having a stun gun on campus.
“We do not tolerate this kind of behavior at Lehigh Acres Middle School, so in addition to the legal consequences, the student involved will be disciplined per the Student Code of Conduct.”
Moore said, “it’s just really outrageous. It makes you wonder like, what are the sources, like is it an influence in terms of TikTok, social media, whatever the cases may be.”
So far this school year in Lee County, two teens were arrested for plotting a columbine style shooting, two others were arrested for bringing a firearm to school, and three more planned to set their school on fire.
WINK News safety and security specialist Rich Kolko said, “social media, clearly, has a large impact. These students are talking amongst themselves, they’re forming chatrooms of like-minded individuals. They find other stories of other things that have happened at other schools. They get shared around a lot. And that gives some of them, potentially, the ideas of how to do this.”
In many cases, students are coming forward and saying something to a trusted adult before it’s too late. Kolko says the relationship between law enforcement and the district is key. “That’s getting to law enforcement and they’re able to put a stop to it a little bit earlier, and obviously, it goes a long way to keeping the kids safer.”
Moore hopes this is a reminder for parents to talk with their kids and keep an eye on what they’re doing online. “Parents need to be aware of what’s going on in their kid’s life. Check their phone. Make sure that they don’t have social media that is influencing them to think that that’s ok.”
Kolko said students this young don’t fully understand the ramifications of making a decision to bring a weapon to school and how it can impact them for the rest of their life.
He says that’s something parents and schools should do a better job explaining to young people so they don’t end up in a situation like this.