Gun brought to football game prompts beefed up security at Pinellas Co. high school games

Teens snuck loaded gun into last week's game
Beefed up security at HS football games
Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 17:29:22-04

There will be beefed up security at Pinellas County high school football games Friday night after two students snuck a loaded gun into a game last week.

Jennifer Clark has been worried all week about Friday night’s football game at Boca Ciega High School.

“I’ve got a son that goes here and he’s real excited for the game. The last thing I want him to be worried about is getting shot," Clark explained.

Last week, two students from Boca Ciega High School snuck a loaded handgun in a backpack into the stands at Pinellas Park High School. 

It raised big questions about security at high school football games. 

Izaih Harris a student at Pinellas Park wonders what more can be done to keep kids safe.

“I thought it was quite crazy. I feel like there should be more security to prevent that but I know they cant have metal detectors everywhere,” she said.

Pinellas County School District has a policy banning backpacks in football stadiums during games, but Pinellas Park police tell us the two Boca Ciega students, who we aren't naming because they are 17 years old, were told they couldn’t bring their backpack into the stadium, but the person at the ticket counter offered to hold it for them. At half time, when ticket sales were wrapping up, police officers tell us the boys asked for their bag back and brought it into the stands…along with that loaded gun.  

A parent reported the gun to police and the boys admitted they brought the weapon to school that day, too!

Friday night, Boca Ciega, Pinellas Park, and other high schools in Pinellas County aren’t taking any chances.  They’ll add more signs stressing "no backpacks allowed", all purses and diaper bags will be searched and security will be tight.

“I’d hate to think they all need to be patted down but if that’s what it takes, that’s what it takes," Clark said, “It’s supposed to be fun! They’re not supposed to be scared and I don’t want to be worrying about it.”