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ONE-THIRD: that's how many middle & HS students say school is unsafe in Lee Co.

Teachers and elementary students said overwhelming said they felt safe at schools, but the results were more mixed, for middle and high schoolers in Lee County.
Posted at 11:58 AM, Mar 12, 2024

Nearly a third of all middle and high school students in Lee County reported feeling unsafe in schools, according to a recent survey published by the school district.

The survey asked three specific questions to elementary and secondary students along with faculty.

Elementary school students were asked if the adults at schools make them feel safe.

According to the survey, 88% said yes.

Middle and high school students were both asked if they believe “adults make decisions to keep us safe.”

  • 65% of high school students agreed with that statement
  • 71% of middle school students said yes

88% of teachers agreed when asked if they “think of everyone’s safety when making decisions.”


“Our goal, overall, will be to see these numbers continue to decline,” Superintendent Christopher Bernier said during a recent school board meeting.

The district’s goal, according to the survey, is for 97% of elementary-aged students to answer yes by 2027.

The district hopes to get 75% of all high school students to say the same by 2027, as well.

“One of the elephants in the room I think we need to talk about, and I can say this as a parent, is parental responsibility and parental involvement,” said School Board Chairman Sam Fisher.

One area that shocked some school board members was the increase in incidents at Lee County Charter schools.

The number of fights at charter schools more than doubled, going from 13 to 32, from the first semester of the 2022-23 school year to this first semester.

Tobacco use and threat/intimidation incidents also more than doubled during the same time frame.


“Everything else has increased substantially in our charter school system. That’s something I would like for you all to look into,” said School Board Member Jada Langford Fleming.

The top three things the district is seeing every year, according to the survey, are incidents of fighting, tobacco and drug use.