Pasco elementary schools to get safety guards

The Pasco County School Board approved Superintendent Kurt Browning’s proposal to hire a director of safety and security, and to add up to 50 school safety guards for the district’s elementary schools, according a district news release.

The school board’s action was in response to a 2018 bill that the Legislature passed and the governor signed into law. It requires all school districts to provide security at all schools beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

The Legislature provided funding in the bill and districts were given three options:

  • Provide school resource officers (SRO) at each school,
  • Provide school safety officers for each school, or
  • Participate in the school guardian program requiring certain school personnel to be armed.

The law also requires each district to appoint a school safety specialist, which is the director of school safety and security position approved by the board.

During a recent school safety workshop, Browning told school board members he would prefer to have an SRO on each of the district’s school campuses, but the district could not afford that option.

The advertisements for the jobs have been posted on the district’s website and its Facebook page.

The district is hosting two recruitment and interview events for the school safety guard positions. They will be on May 10 and May 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Building 2 of the district office complex, at 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., in Land O’ Lakes. The interviews for the director position will be on May 10 and May 11.

The district’s middle schools and high schools will continue to be staffed by SROs through the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and municipal police departments.

Published May 9, 2018

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