Students with BB Gun Arrested in Seminole County High School
Ever since the horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, when a teen gunman killed 17 people, school officials and law enforcement agencies have been on heightened alert about the possibility of any type of gun violence happening inside a Florida school. The recent arrest of three students at Lake Brantley High School in Altamonte Springs, Florida, shows that officials have learned to act quickly when there’s any indication that a student has either brought a weapon to school or posted an online threat. There was a cautionary warning in this case for teens who post videos on their social media accounts.
Why Were These Three Florida Students Arrested?
According to the police report, the three Lake Brantley High students got arrested after one of them brought a weapon to school. That prompted Lake Brantley Principal Brian Blasewitz to institute a lockdown at the school to protect students.
It started with a post made on Snapchat that showed a student on campus while holding a handgun. The post also showed someone crouching on the floor nearby. A student saw the Snapchat post quickly reported it to school officials, who called police.
That led officers with the Altamonte Springs Police Department to arrest two 14-year-olds and a 17-year-old, and police later reported that one of them had indeed brought a BB gun onto the school campus.
While it was a social media post on Snapchat that prompted school officials to contact police, those same school officials also used Twitter posts to keep parents informed about the situation as it was happening.
The three students were charged with electric communication threats to commit a mass shooting or act of terrorism, possession of a gun on school property, disrupting school property statute and providing false information to law enforcement.
What Changes Have Been Made After the Parkland Shooting?
This incident happened close to the two-year mark of the Parkland shooting, which occurred on Feb. 14 2018. The rapid response to the Snapchat post indicates that school and law enforcement officials are prepared to take no chances whatsoever when it comes to school safety, while the fact that a student was able to get a BB gun onto campus was a troubling warning of how vulnerable schools still are.
The deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, prompted a number of states to pass new gun control laws, including Florida. Not long after that violent incident, the Florida Legislature passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, which:
- Raised the age to purchase guns from 18 to 21
- Banned people legally judged “mentally defective” from purchasing a gun
- Allowed law enforcement to remove guns from people deemed a threat to themselves or others
- and banned bump stocks, which make semi-automatic weapons function
The Legislature didn’t act alone. Sixteen Florida mayors have called for universal background checks on gun purchases. Likewise, several Florida cities and counties challenged Florida’s 1987 preemption law, which prohibits local governments from adopting their own gun control laws or placing restrictions on firearms. The law also allows local leaders to be removed from office if they violate it, and three lawsuits have been filed to challenge the law.
What Lessons Have Communities Learned Since Parkland?
Student safety has become a far more urgent concern since Parkland demonstrated how vulnerable schools were. The Parkland shooting intensified efforts that got started with the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado to make schools safer from gun violence. In recent years, school security has become a nearly $3 billion industry, with companies developing surveillance cameras with artificial intelligence, and taking greater efforts to monitor students’ social media activity to watch for any signs of a possible threat in the making.
The arrests at Lake Brantley High School show that the system worked this time, and no one was injured. School officials and law enforcement, though, know that there will never be a time when they can let their guard down.
Has Your Child Been Arrested At School?
If your child is accused of an offense or been arrested at school, and you’re not sure if it could result in a recommendation for expulsion, you should immediately call a juvenile defense lawyer for advice. The expulsion process is subject to an extremely strict timeline so time is certainly of the essence.
The Orlando school expulsion attorneys at The Umansky Law Firm have more than 100 years of combined experience that we can put to use for your child’s benefit. Having represented hundreds of Floridians with criminal charges, we can help avoid expulsion at all costs by providing vigorous legal defense and pursuing favorable alternatives. Contact us today for a free case evaluation or use our 24/7 live chat service to schedule your appointment.