Duval School Board Outlines Plan To Address Guns In Classrooms

Feb 9, 2017
Originally published on February 8, 2017 4:49 pm

After several Duval students were caught with guns at school over the last two weeks, the School Board and the superintendent said Tuesday they’re working on an intervention plan.

Board Chair Paula Wright said board members have met with groups of students at each of the eight schools where guns have turned up this year.

“The common themes that some of these students shared with us from these eight schools included safety of neighborhood or community with more (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office) visibility in neighborhoods during school hours,” she said. “(Also) a desire for more parental guidance for students to address their issues, concerns and needs in the home.”

Wright said students have also asked for more afterschool activities and social events. Wright said their feedback will be considered as the board plans its strategy.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the issue of guns is a community problem and he said the best metal detector is another student.

“We need greater communication,” he said. “And more students willing to come forward to tell and adult, teacher, parent, administrator that there is a weapon on campus.”

Vitti said the number of gun related incidents this school year is trending at a higher rate than in previous years.

He said there will be random searches at schools and the district will be providing more activities for students outside of school hours.

The district also has an anonymous tip line for weapons spotted 904-855-3319.

Reporter Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.

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