BY BUDDY NEVINS
Parents that have begun lobbying the School Board for full-time police officers at their children’s’ schools.
The question, of course, is who will pay? The School Board? Individual cities?
The e-mail below is from Nova Eisenhower Elementary, a magnet school where many of the students live outside the city where it is located — Davie.
I have already heard from a skeptic that politicians in Davie have no motivation to pay to protect a magnet school. Why? Because the parents don’t vote in Davie.
It is a shame that political considerations are even being discussed when children are at stake. Every school in Broward County should have a full-time officer. No excuses.
Below is the e-mail from Nova parents followed by a news release from Gov. Rick Scott about school safety:
Hello Nova Eisenhower Elementary families,
We are all deeply upset about the senseless tragedy on Friday in Newton, CT.
Those of you that brought your children to school this morning may have noticed the Davie police truck in the front parking lot. During this week prior to the Winter Break, Davie Police will be providing an SRO officer at all elementary schools including Nova Eisenhower Elementary. Throughout the year, the Nova Middle School and Nova High School already each have an SRO assigned to the campus.
While it obviously evokes a strong reaction in all of us, there are certain concrete actions we can take that can help lesson our anxiety. At this time, we would like to encourage our Nova Eisenhower Elementary families to reach out to the Davie Police and the Mayor of Davie to request a permanent School Resource Officer at our Nova Eisenhower Elementary campus for the remainder of this school year, and beyond. Please send your request to the following individuals:
Mayor of Davie, Judy Paul, firstname.lastname@example.org 6591 Orange Drive, Davie, FL 33314, Telephone: 954-797-1030
Chief of Police of Davie, Chief Lynn, email@example.com
City Council of Davie,
District 1 Brian Caletka, firstname.lastname@example.org (Which includes our school)
District 2 Caryl Hattan, email@example.com
District 3 Susan Starkey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Disrict 4 Marlon Louis, email@example.com
Town Administrator, Richard Lemack, firstname.lastname@example.org
To make it easier to do a group Email, just cut and paste the following Email addresses to send a group Email to all listed above:
Additionally, if anyone has more information on what steps would assist with this campaign to help bring a SRO officer to our school and/or have any other questions, please reply to this Email or contact nova@my-PTA.org.
Thank you in advance for your concern and support,
Nova Eisenhower Elementary PTA
The presence of a permanent Davie SRO at our school full-time would help alleviate our anxiety and help with the safety of our wonderful children, teachers and staff at our school. This morning there were several teary eyed parents, students, teachers and administration at the start of the school day. Several parents that normally don’t take their child to school made special arrangements to take them this morning because of the horrible tragdy.
As a concerned parent and Broward County resident, pulling up and seeing the Davie Police Officer on our campus helped reduce some anxiety. While we appreciate that an officer was assigned for this week, we believe a permanent SRO officer at our Nova Eisenhower Elementary school campus is necessary.
Thank you for in advance your consideration of assigning a SRO to our Nova Eisenhower Elementary School campus.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 17, 2012
CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE
GOV. SCOTT CALLS ON SCHOOL LEADERS TO REVIEW AND ENHANCE SCHOOL DISTRICT EMERGENCY PLANS
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Governor Rick Scott called on school districts to review emergency procedures and devise methods for enhancing security in Florida schools. The Governor also encouraged school leaders to communicate with families the current safety procedures and the additional actions schools are taking in enhancing safety and protection for students.
Governor Scott said, “Following the tragedy in Connecticut, I join parents everywhere who want to make sure our students are safe. To better protect Florida’s children, I’m asking Florida school districts to review their emergency procedures and work alongside the Dept. of Education, FDLE and local law enforcement to review and enhance on-campus emergency plans to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. School should be a sanctuary for learning and creativity where students, teachers and parents feel safe – and a review of these procedures will enhance safety for Florida schools.”
In 2001, the Florida Legislature passed the Safe Passage Act requiring every district to have a clearly directed safety and security program that includes comprehensive plans with input from parents, community representatives, local emergency agencies, teachers, staff, and students. Each year, districts must assess and update their emergency plans using a comprehensive assessment tool.
In 2003, the Florida Department of Education adopted a statewide policy detailing school preparation and response to emergencies and threats of violence. The department’s Office of Safe Schools works with districts to implement safety objectives; including:
- Limiting school entry points
- Inspecting school grounds daily for suspicious persons
- Establishing communication procedures for alerting parents
- Enhancing police patrol of campus during peak times of traffic and activity.
School leaders throughout the state have begun enhancing security measures:
On Sunday, Hillsborough County School Superintendent MaryEllen Elia deployed phone messages to school staff and parents about safety precautions occurring in schools this week. “We have been in contact with local police – who will work together with our school security staff to arrange for deputies and officers to play a more visible role on and around our campuses – especially our elementary schools,” said Superintendent Elia. “We’re working with law enforcement and doing everything we can to keep our campuses safe and secure.”
Superintendent of Orange County Schools Dr. Barbara Jenkins said, “We take all perceived threats to student safety seriously, and deal with them swiftly by activating safe school plans and calling on our school resource officers assigned by our excellent law enforcement partners. Child safety is in the minds of our leadership team and we appreciate additional law enforcement presence in and around our schools this week.”