TAMPA, Fla. – During a town hall meeting in Seminole Heights on Thursday evening, students had the opportunity to ask local leaders about school violence.
Hillsborough Superintendent Jeff Eakins, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway and former GOP Rep. David Jolly were some of the people on the panel.
Many students had concerns over the threats that have been circulating on both social media and in their schools.
Senior De’Naysha Mullings says recently her school saw many students stay home after hearing of a possible threat.
“We ended up having 900 students not show up to school,” says Mullings.
Holloway addressed students on those threats, saying they’ve been hard on his department as well, tying up resources.
Just last week, they arrested a 14-year-old for making a violent threat in a school bathroom.
He said,“42 percent of those kids did not go to school that day because they were afraid that something was going to happen. Since this has gone on, we've arrested three kids alone in St. Pete, so we keep telling them it's not a joke it's not a game."
Students like Mullings want to see more police presence in her school.
“Adding on-call sheriffs to be at every entrance of our schools so they're won’t be any mishaps with anyone coming on to the campus,” she says.
Others like junior Adrianne Johnson say more police on campus would make her feel uneasy.
“If cops were on campus but just not as noticeable and not seeing their weapons would make me feel much better,” says Johnson.
Getting these suggestions and making their voices heard. Making these students feel more secure in school. Knowing that leaders are taking their concerns into consideration. Those are the goals.
None of the students we spoke with supported having armed teachers in their schools.
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