School Leaders Addressing Gun Safety in Bay District Schools

Nearly three months into the school year, there have been numerous occasions of students bringing guns into schools, and Bay District school leaders are working to stop the trend.
    
Just recently, one seventh grade student from Mowat Middle School and two high schoolers from Arnold were caught with guns on school property.

Bay District Schools Chief of Police believes the rise of social media and videos of guns constantly on their feeds has something to do with it.

"Most of the time it's not about somebody saying 'I'm going to do something to you' or 'I'm going to harm you and I'm going to do it with a gun,' we hardly ever see that. It's mostly showing off, looking for attention, and it's ridiculous that they would even put other people's lives in danger by doing that," he said.

Alexis Underwood, a Mowat Middle School teacher, said for faculty, prevention is found in preparation.

"Dealing with the potential of a violent act on campus is sadly a reality of being a school teacher. We've seen the past demonstrate to us that safety is making a good decision in the moment of crisis, and that only happens when we think about bad things ahead of time and we practice," she said.

Educators said parents can do their part by monitoring their children's phones and social media accounts.

Lakenya Barnes, a Bay District Schools parent, is making awareness her top priority.

Barnes is printing out fliers to pass out around several schools and businesses in the county to educate students and families on gun violence.

The fliers explain that in Florida, there is a 10-20-life law.

Just having an illegal gun can lead to 10 years in prison, firing a gun -- 20 years, and shooting someone can lead to 25 years-life in jail.

Barnes believes that educating students on the consequences these crimes have is the first step to preventing them.


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