Tip Leads to Arrest

An anonymous tip lands a teenage boy behind bars. The Leon County student is charged with bringing a knife to school.

Tuesday night a call came in to a school safety hotline. Wednesday morning police had a plan in place and a suspect under arrest. Most kids are taught to behave, be courteous and in today's school system, be brave.

Thanks to today's technology, courage is just a phone call away.

Recently, the Be Brave Hotline dialed in on a 14-year-old Leon High School freshman that carries a knife to school. An anonymous caller tipped off authorities who pulled the boy from class and found the pocketknife. The boy said he carried the weapon for protection.

Paul Emmons, School Resource Officer, says, "Somebody could have gotten hurt. That's the reason we have numbers in place for situations like this where students can remain anonymous and not have repercussion."

Nearly half of all the calls to the Be Brave Hotline end in arrest, from drugs to weapons or even fist fights. Deputies say each call is taken seriously and investigated.

Alex Perny, a Leon High School freshman, says, "Never considered using it, but I would consider using it if there were a really dangerous situation like school shooting."

Luckily, this time someone did pick up the phone before it lead to something so severe. The 14-year-old has been suspended from school for ten days and recommended for expulsion. Along with a pocketknife, sheriff's deputies say a small amount of marijuana was found in the teen's backpack.

In our area Jefferson, Madison, Wakulla and Madison all operate a Be Brave Hotline. Anyone can use it, not just students, parents, teachers, staff anyone. The number is 1-877-7BE-BRAVE.