Drug-Related Arrests Down in Leon County Schools

More than two-dozen Leon County students have been arrested this school year for dabbling in drugs while on school grounds. The drugs range from marijuana to illegal prescription pills. The news is bittersweet for school resource officers who say while the number of drug related cases is on the decline, just one case is one too many.

A Leon County school resource officer carefully checks into evidence: a roach. Not an insect, but the tail end of a marijuana cigarette seized from a 16-year-old Leon County student.

LT Jimmy Williams with the Leon County Sheriff's Office says, "One drug seizure on school campus I consider a problem. Average about two drug cases a month district-wide."

Mostly marijuana and prescription pills are plucked from the pupil population. Last year there were 37 drug cases involving narcotics, most of them ending in arrest, so far this year only 30.

It's a combination of a strict school policy and a less tolerant student body that's helping to take drugs and weapons off school grounds.

Superintendent Bill Montford of Leon County schools says, "What we are finding is our students are much less tolerant of their classmates bringing drugs and weapons on campus."

That was evident when a hotline helped lead authorities to a 14-year-old who carried a knife to school. Twins Andreas and Andrea Horsey say most students have zero tolerance for campus crime.

"In recent years, a lot of drugs being sold. When I saw it I thought why? Go get a job!"
That's not a basic job," says Andreas.

Now again drugs are on the decline in Leon County schools. Officers credit the fall to education and prevention. Last year school resource officers taught about 100 drug prevention classes in the schools.

Last year 51 weapons were seized from students, mostly pocketknives and only one "fake" gun. This year 29 weapons were seized including one gun.