MANATEE COUNTY, FL --- The Southeast High Community is in shocked now that one of their own is behind bars.
"He was apprehended at Southeast High School by Manatee County Sheriff's Office with our school resource officer," said Manatee County School District public information officer Steve Valley.
Valley is referring Southeast student Frank Brice. Brice was arrested on a gun charge Wednesday for a warrant steaming from an incidents that occurred on July 6th. According to reports Brice was sitting in a car with another person when a Bradenton Police Officer approached. At that time Brice took off on foot. The officer later found a gun under the seat Brice was sitting in. And, district officials say this wasn't his first run in with the law.
"The felony from 2011 was considered a nonviolent felony and again it was handled by staff and after they worked it, they found he was safe to enroll him in Southeast," said Valley.
And Valley say situations like this where students have run ins with the law are becoming more common.
"This is obviously a tragedy but we're seeing this more and more," added Valley.
Manatee County School District officials say they currently have between 500 and 600 students who have been in trouble with the law. The district did not break down the charges the students face but people like Patrick Carnegie of The 13th Ave Dream Center say incidents like Brice arrest highlights the need for more student mentoring.
"This really underscores the need for us to step up and broaden our scope in the community to provide mentoring, programs, and support services for kids and provide them guidance," added Carnegie.
Carnegie says he's known Brice for years and was shocked by the news of his arrest because he was not a problem child. Which he says is proof anyone from anywhere could be a victim of poor choices.
"It's a lack of understanding. It’s a complex problem that didn't get this way over night. That's why we are coming together to develop a sustaining plan and not just an emotional knee jerk reaction to situation like this," added Carnegie.