Schooling in SWFL

One Bonita Student's Action Sparks Discussion Surrounding School Safety

I’d imagine it must be hard sending your child to school. Along with feelings of separation, there must be a bit of anxiety tossed into the mix. After the shootings at Columbine and Virginia Tech, anxiety surrounding school shootings has heightened.

18 years later, a student at Bonita Springs Charter School wrote the word ‘Columbine’ on his desk. It’s a heavy word. It should be. It brings back memories of April 20th, 1999, when students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold gunned down 12 classmates and a teacher before killing themselves at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Student-provoked school shootings like Columbine and Virginia Tech changed the way we do a lot of things. Specifically, these incidents highlighted the lack of adequate school threat plans.

The Florida Department of Education discussed this and passed Senate Bill 284 (2013). This bill “required each school district to establish model emergency management and emergency preparedness procedures” for life-threatening emergencies such as school shootings and hostage situations.

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To help get this done, Florida Legislature allocated almost 65 million dollars to be shared among school districts, to help get these programs and drills in place. This was all noted in House Bill No. 3-A of Chapter 2017-234.

On a state-level, we are receiving help. However, we want to know what this means for Bonita Springs Charter School and the young male involved.

The student that wrote Columbine on his desk was suspended, and could be expelled, however, that was about as much Bonita Springs Charter was willing to share. We asked if they had any emergency preparedness plans set in plan if a Columbine-style attack were to occur in SWFL. They responded saying plans were in place, but could not share them with us.

We are currently working to keep you updated. For now, what we know is that the state of Florida is making strides to ensure stronger prevention plans are in place.

For more information regarding this case and general school emergency legislation visit:

Threat Assessment Guide

Legislation For School Emergencies

Deputy Report For Incident

School Threat Finance Bill

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