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In the most recent report, Duval County continues to lead the state in doing little about school safety incidents.

Of 9,739 incidents that occurred in the previous school year, only 838 were “reported to law enforcement.” That is less than 9 percent. The average statewide is 33 percent.

In the curious world of the education bureaucracy, “reported to law enforcement” does not mean reported to law enforcement.

The definition is as follows:

“Reported to Law Enforcement”, means that an official action was taken by a School Resource Officer (SRO) or a local Law Enforcement Officer such as: a case number was assigned, a report was filed, an affidavit was filed, a civil citation was issued, an investigation was conducted and found to be an incident reportable to SESIR, or an arrest was made. The presence of, notification of, or consultation with a Law Enforcement Officer or SRO, is not sufficient for an incident to be coded as “Reported to Law Enforcement.”

In other words, it actually means nothing was done about the incident even if it was reported.

To date, the only response by school officials has been to point out the definition.

What they haven’t explained is why nothing is done in most cases.

Incidents that are reported to the state include arson, battery, drug use and possession, fighting, physical attacks, robbery, sexual battery, weapons possession and others.

Fortunately, in the 23 cases of possessing weapons, action of some kind was taken in every case. The same was true of battery, breaking and entering, disruption on campus, drug use/possession, robbery and sexual assault.

But in 80 incidents of bullying, 48 of having alcohol, 117 of tobacco, three of vandalism and two of arson (a felony), nothing was done.

Of 4,486 physical attacks, only 16 resulted in any action taken. Physical attacks mean: “Physical attack refers to an actual and intentional striking of another person against his/her will, or the intentional causing of bodily harm to an individual.”

Presumably, parents would be concerned if their child suffered bodily harm as a result of intentional striking by another person. Yet, in only 16 such cases were actions taken.

Eye on Jacksonville dare not ask for details, such as how many of the cases were handled by School Resource Officers vs. the Sheriff’s Office. The last time we asked for detail it cost us several months and more than $100 to get an answer.

But we will continue to note that crimes taking place in the local public schools seem to carry little consequence, compared to other districts in the state.

Maybe concerned readers also will begin asking their representatives on the School Board questions. We encourage you to reach out to your representative and demand better for your kids in the 2019-2020 school year. You can reach them here: https://dcps.duvalschools.org/Domain/4440

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Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida.  He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union.  He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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