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Campbell promises to scale up penalties for students who make threats and caught with guns at school

School building, brick
COCA Tallahassee

State Attorney Jack Campbell says his office is scaling up its efforts to go after students who bring weapons to school and make threats. His comments come after scores of worried parents rushed to Godby this week to get their kids after a rumor of a potential shooting on campus began circulating on social media.

“If I have to put them in a juvenile facility for 30 days, then I’ll do it. If that doesn’t work then I’ll put them in a jail. If that doesn’t work then I’ll put them in a prison. But we have to have safety for the youth and this community as a whole," he said.

The Leon County School District has seen an increase in the number of students caught with weapons on campus within the past few years. It correlates to a rise in gun violence, locally.

This week alone, there were two fights at Godby High School. One triggered a temporary lockdown.

A student at Leon High School was arrested for having a gun at school after showing it off in a social media post.

And Thursday, amid rumors of a possible shooting at Godby, an unknown student with a drum magazine made a social media post alluding to something happening at Godby on Monday, which is a holiday. The Leon County Sheriffs office says that post remains under investigation.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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