102 guns seized in Fla. schools in 2010-11

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:48:07 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 11 2013 04:53:12 PM EST
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

The most recent data from the Florida Department of Education shows 35,000 incidents were reported to police in the 2010-11 school year.

Cases involving more than 2,500 weapons were handed over to police, and 29 of Florida's 67 counties seized 102 guns from school campuses.

In addition to the 102 guns seized in Florida schools in the 2010-11 school year, another 35 crimes involving a gun were committed on school campuses.

Hillsborough County led the state with 42 incidents involving a gun. Twenty-seven were charged with possession of a firearm. Next was Miami-Dade County, followed by Palm Beach and Duval, which each had eight incidents involving a gun and seven charged with possession of a firearm.

Interim Education Commissioner Pam Stewart blames the guns on Florida's unique gun laws.

"Those reports are really an indication that we're doing the right thing," Stewart said. "We take it very seriously and we won't just be lax in that area."

The same report that found Florida schools rank sixth in the nation also found that students in a low-poverty area felt nearly twice as safe as those in a high-poverty area.

School boards say their first priority of the coming legislative session is to have a uniformed officer at every school.

"And the second thing that we'll support is additional dollars for training in crisis management at all levels, not just law enforcement, but our teachers, our administrators," said Wayne Blanton, of the Florida School Boards Association.

But Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck says the research doesn't back up the need for an officer at every school.

"There is virtually no violence in elementary schools. It's one of the safest places you can be in America; even safer than people's homes," Kleck said.

In addition to guns, another 2,042 weapons were seized in Florida schools in 2010-11 school year.

In addition to weapons, the school incident report also lists more than 600 incidents of bullying, 7,000 cases of drugs being found, and 1,200 incidents involving alcohol.