54 weapons found in Duval County schools in last 4½ years

Officials say most guns found thanks to tips from other students

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - In the days and weeks since 14 students and three faculty members were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there is heightened concern every time we hear a gun is carried into a school.

In Duval County schools, News4Jax has reported on a gun or other weapon found in a school an average of once every month for the past four school years. Since August 2013, there have been 54 guns found at Jacksonville schools since August 2013, and there have been nearly that many arrests.

According to Jacksonville Sheriff's Office reports, Duval County officials have confiscated guns from students as young as 10. Some students left the weapons in their cars or trucks, or they brought them into the school in their pockets or book bags.

Ten of those arrested in connection with the incidents have been adults -- one of them 90 years old. Teenagers between 15 and 18 took guns on school property more than any other age group, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reports. 

Weapons in schools, arrests in Duval County schools

In addition to weapons found, there have also been threats to blow up the school that have resulted in arrests.

Several schools have had multiple incidents over the period News4Jax has analyzed. First Coast High School had five incidents, while Westside High School (formerly Forrest), Terry Parker High and JEB Stuart Middle each had four. There were three incidents with weapons over the last four years at Mandarin and Wolfson high schools.

For parents, it's an alarming reminder that you should pay attention to who your children are around, what they are doing and how they are feeling.

In most instances, there is also good some news: The gun or threat was reported to authorities by fellow students.

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