School shooting threat involving BB gun in Collier County

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan

A loaded weapon at school, a shooting threat, and trespassing led to four arrests, all happening this week in Southwest Florida schools.

Students at Barron Collier High School didn’t know the weapons brought to the school were BB guns. Therapists WINK News spoke with said it would be a mistake to minimize the fear the kids felt after the fact.

Bringing a weapon of any kind to school, whether it be a gun or a knife, is against the law, with no exceptions.

That’s why Collier County deputies arrested a 15-year-old for bringing a loaded BB gun to Barron Collier High School on Thursday.

Barron Collier High School. CREDIT: WINK News

“I think a lot of times, once people realize that a gun isn’t a real gun, then they tend to minimize it. But to the people that saw it or were afraid of it and the kids that in that moment, they thought that it was that trauma was real,” Dr. Laura Streyffeler, a therapist, said.

A BB gun may not fire bullets, but the deputies said the weapon the teenager brought to school is virtually identical to a Glock 19X pistol. The sheriff’s office said he showed the gun to multiple students and told them he planned to go target shooting after school.

“Anything that looks like violence may happen is going to be scary for the students,” Dr. Yaro Garcia, from the department of counseling at FGCU, said.

Barron Collier High School entrance. CREDIT: WINK News

Garcia and Streyffeler wonder if the student appreciated the seriousness of his actions.

“The reality is that we should be assuming that any child is not old enough to understand,” Garcia said.

They said that parents should talk to their kids, especially if they’re struggling or acting out in any way.

“You don’t tell the kid they have to go to therapy. Because what a kid hears is you’re broken, you’re damaged, something’s wrong with you,” Streyffeler said.

And most kids are not broken. The doctors said they might just need some help coping with something. And parents are in the best position to offer that kind of support.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.