731 Seabreeze High students skip school amid gun threat, fights

Daytona Beach police step up patrols at high school

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Students at Seabreeze High School are seeing an increased police presence after a series of fights and a gun threat prompted more than 700 students to stay home Tuesday.

According to Daytona Beach police, fights broke out between students on and off campus last week.

After a fight Friday, officers said they received a tip that a student was going to return with a box cutter. Police said they arrested the 15-year-old student, who was charged with possession of a weapon on campus.

During the investigation, officers said they received information about a video and text messages that another student was planning on bringing a gun to campus Tuesday. According to police, investigators found no credibility to the threat.

Extra officers were on campus Tuesday, but many students were not.  According to the school district, 731 students were absent, which is about 44 percent of the student body.

The principal of Seabreeze High School sent a recorded message to parents.

"There was some concern going into today about recent fights. One that happened on campus and another that happened off campus," Principal Joe Rawlings said. "The students involved have been identified, their parents notified and law enforcement agencies are involved and appropriate action is being taken."

Rawlings asked parents to talk to their children about the importance of reporting any suspicious activity. Students and parents were urged to use the new Fortify Florida app, which allows anyone to anonymously report tips to law enforcement and the school district.

School officials said 73 students were absent from Seabreeze Wednesday.

School officials issued a statement in an attempt to quash any rumors about the incident:

As many of you know, there have been fights recently involving some Seabreeze High School students both on and off campus. Police have been investigating and the school has taken action against some of the students involved. (Wednesday) during the off-campus lunch, several students were seen getting into a fight with two construction workers. Police were in the area (because of the fight on Friday near the same spot) and stopped the fight quickly. 

There have been a LOT of rumors circulating today on social media. We want you to know the school (Seabreeze) was NOT on lockdown today and NO weapons were found on campus. Everyone on campus remains safe. 

Once again, the incident that happened (Wednesday) was off campus. If you have any questions, please call the school before spreading unsubstantiated information.

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