FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward County Superintendent Peter Licata said the safety of its students remains one of his top priorities, following two school incidents in the past week.
“I just want to make sure parents are aware that our schools are safe, our schools are very very safe,” said Licata.
Licata’s comments come after deputies discovered two guns, loaded magazines, and illicit drugs in the parking lot of Deerfield Beach High School on Monday.
Two students were detained and were identified as 17-year-old Turell Persuad Ali and 17-year-old Kameryn Miclaughlin.
The two are facing several charges, which include possession of weapon on school property, and possession of illicit drugs. Ali is facing an additional charge of trespassing because he is not a student at the school.
Ali and Miclaughlin both appeared in court on Tuesday and were ordered to remain in jail for 21 days until prosecutors decide whether to prosecute them as adults.
According to students, it all began with a bloody fight.
“Two females were fighting like way earlier. They got in a fight way earlier. Girl broke her nose and they had to call an ambulance to come get her,” said one student. “She called her people. Her people came around here, I guess that is her brother or whoever they are but they came around here they talking about ‘Oh yeah they finna shoot up the school.’”
While there was no immediate threat to students, the school went into lockdown as a precautionary measure.
“They had us on lockdown since 3:06 p.m. They were saying there were people out there with stuff in their bags, they were checking everybody’s cars,” said another student.
“I’m sitting there, calling my mama, I’m telling her ‘Man, I’m scared. Mommy, I’m scared.’ They had me locked in there,” said one student.
According to the arrest report, a Broward County Public Schools security specialist noticed a person sleeping inside a running car on the school’s parking lot on Monday. The discovery of the sleeping person led to a administrative search of the car where officials located a gun inside a backpack.
“A further investigation and search of the vehicle by Broward Sheriff Office deputies revealed two loaded handguns, several loaded magazines, a drum magazine and illegal narcotics including MDMA, mushrooms and cannabis.”
The Deerfield incident is the latest school scare for Broward County.
On Friday, an 18-year-old was arrested for bringing a loaded handgun to Stranahan High School, causing chaos on campus and leaving parents worried.
“Kids can’t get an education these days. You gotta worry about them getting killed in school,” said one concerned parent.
“I’m kinda nervous because I can’t get my child,” said one parent.
Before a scheduled school board meeting on Tuesday, Licata told 7News that these incidents are life-changing events.
“We as educators have to show and make sure our kids understand this is a life-changing event when you bring a weapon to school. It impacts the rest of your life, especially if you are 17 or 18 because now you are being charged as an adult.”
Following the Deerfield Beach incident, the school district called parents on Monday night to assure them they were implementing additional safety measures.
“We’re implementing additional safety measures. This includes an increase in random screenings using handheld metal detectors across district schools,” said an automated message from the Broward County Superintendent.
The superintendent said the district was “expediting the purchase of metal detectors”. The district confirmed that the purchased metal detectors will be walk-through metal detectors. They hope to install them across all Broward high schools, upon school board approval.
“This is not something to play around with, it’s not show-and-tell. Even these fake airguns, that look so much like real weapons, don’t bring them,” said Licata.
As for parents, the superintendent said creating safe schools requires their help.
“What’s in their backpack? You have a responsibility to make sure your child goes to school with the right things in their backpack,” said Licata.
Licata said they are working closely with the Miami-Dade County Public School Board to ensure the safety of all students in South Florida.
“We have to address this comprehensively,” said M-DCPS Superintendent Dr. Jose Dotres. “Metal detectors on their own, I believe, they’re not the only solution.
Metal detectors could end up in high schools around Broward County as early as August.
Copyright 2024 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.