SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) – The Sarasota County Public Schools Superintendent unveiled a five point plan for the future of school safety.
It will start as early as April 2 when the students return from spring break. The first of the five point plan will place an off-duty officer in every elementary school until the end of this year.
At Phillippi Shores Elementary School, the parents and staff said they’ll feel a lot safer with one around.
Locked gates currently surround the campus built in 2005, keeping intruders from the children at play.
“One thing that we have here is our campus is secure, the main entrance is the only way to access the school during the school day,” said Allison Foster, principal of Phillippi Shores.
It’s one of the safety measures Superintendent Dr. Todd Bowden said every school in the district will soon have. $25 million will enhance the physical safety of all of the campuses.
After this year, a new school resource deputy program will be implemented too, putting a permanent armed guard in every campus from elementary to high school.
“When you have that presence of somebody in authority that knows how to handle a situation, it’s huge,” said Dianne Shuck, a substitute teacher for Sarasota County Public Schools.
The school district said it’s still working with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to determine the details of this program, including if the guards will be off-duty, retired or newly trained officers.
In addition to that program, the superintendent is also exploring another school guardian program that would allow certain school employees to be armed as well.
“It would not be classroom personnel, typically it would be our school security monitors. They’re individuals who do not have classroom responsibilities, but they circulate our campus,” Dr. Bowden explained.
As the board makes these decisions, parents said they just hope they continue to keep the students’ best interest at heart.
“I haven’t formulated a full opinion on [armed guards] yet, but my bottom line is I’d like to keep the kids safe and whatever measures the ones in charge take, I will support,” said Lynn Bates, parent of a kindergartner at Phillippi Shores.
On – 23 Mar, 2018 By Taylor Torregano
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