Vitti: Summer Programs Need More Funding To Keep Students Out Of Gangs

Jun 1, 2015

Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told City Council that Jacksonville is "sitting on a powder keg."
Credit Duval County Public Schools / Facebook

This Friday, school’s out this summer for more than 125,000 students in Duval County Public Schools.

But Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says Jacksonville needs more summer programs to keep them out of trouble.

When he spoke to Jacksonville’s City Council in May, Vitti warned of the possibility of increasing violence over the summer.

“I am going to say this to make a point — not to create alarm — we are sitting on a powder keg right now and I think many of you know that,” he said. “I am deeply, deeply concerned if we go in the summer without positive opportunities for our children.”

Vitti, along with the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, is calling on City Council to increase funding for summer programs. In an interview, he says without these programs, students will be susceptible to gang activities.

“And part of stopping that is creating programs that place students in positive environments and I’m hoping that City Council steps up and does something because one child is too many.”

Vitti says he’s optimistic the City Council will provide more funding for supervised summer programs. The last day of school for Duval County is Friday, June 5.