Mother calls for metal detectors at Leon County high schools

Superintendent Rocky Hanna said Tuesday that other measures are already in the works, but metal detectors are not off the table.
Andrea Bailey is the mother of a senior at Godby High School.
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 7:53 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Godby High School mother is calling for Leon County Schools to install metal detectors in the district’s high schools after a 15-year-old was arrested with a loaded handgun on campus.

“That’s really concerning to me especially with what’s gone on in the world and all the gun violence in this city,” said Andrea Bailey, the mother of a senior at Godby.

It’s not the only run-in with firearms at the school either. Two weeks earlier a Leon County school resource deputy arrested a 14-year-old with a loaded gun in his jacket during a Friday night Godby football game.

Both occurrences, shaking her confidence in overall school safety and safety in Leon County overall.

“We have a lot of shootings going on in general in the city,” Bailey said. “I shared with [Superintendent Rocky Hanna] my concerns about firearms on campus in general and the need to install some sort of detection devices.”

There have been four incidents where a student has been arrested for carrying a gun on school grounds. Another involved a 17-year-old Leon High School student who was arrested after a loaded handgun was found in his backpack.

Hanna said the punishments for students bringing firearms and weapons to campus include suspensions and potential incarceration. He said he’s not opposed to the idea of installing metal detectors as a mitigation tactic in the name of safety.

“We have extra security monitors, we have increased fencing, cameras and school hardening measures,” Hanna said. “We will continue to look at other options. Am I saying that metal detectors are off the table? No.”

Hanna said there are further school safety and prevention measures in the works that could be rolled out by the end of the year. However, plans have to fit logistically for a school district that serves nearly 32,000 students, faculty and staff.

“Even these kids that are unfortunately making a very poor decision and bringing a weapon to campus, it’s not that they don’t feel safe at school, it’s coming to and from school, it’s going into neighborhoods,” Hanna said of parent concerns. “It’s not on our campuses, the violence they’re concerned about is in our streets and neighborhoods.”