Parents Start Pressure For School Cops

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, judy_paul@davie-fl.gov 6591 Orange Drive, Davie, FL 33314, Telephone: 954-797-1030

Chief of Police of Davie, Chief Lynn, patrick_lynn@davie-fl.gov

City Council of Davie,

District 1 Brian Caletka, bryan_caletka@davie-fl.gov (Which includes our school)

District 2 Caryl Hattan, caryl_hattan@davie-fl.gov

District 3 Susan Starkey, susan_starkey@davie-fl.gov

Disrict 4 Marlon Louis, marlon_luis@davie-fl.gov

Town Administrator, Richard Lemack, richard_lemack@davie-fl.gov

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:

judy_paul@davie-fl.govpatrick_lynn@davie-fl.govbryan_caletka@davie-fl.govcaryl_hattan@davie-fl.govsusan_starkey@davie-fl.govmarlon_luis@davie-fl.govrichard_lemack@davie-fl.gov

An example of what to include in your Email follows at the bottom of this EMail. Please edit and include your own comments in your request.

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

http://nova.my-PTA.org

 

******************************************************************
(Sample Letter)
I am writing to you from Nova Eisenhower Elementary school located in Davie.  The senseless tragedy in Newtown, CT has deeply upset us and made us anxious and has left our elementary school aged children upset, confused and scared.

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.

Yours truly,

_____________________

 

XXXXX


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 17, 2012

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com

 

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.”

 

###

 



12 Responses to “Parents Start Pressure For School Cops”

  1. Mayor Mike Ryan says:

    Kudos to the Nova Eisenhower Elementary PTA!

    Some years ago, before I was elected, our PTA started S.O.S (“Save Our SRO’s”), organized parents, teachers, principals and students to go to City Hall and the School Board, and made our voices heard through petitions and emails.

    The Broward County Council of PTAs should duplicate this effort and distribute to ALL PTAs.

    However, in addition to voicing this request to individual cities, it is critically important that parents, teachers and administrators also engage the School Board of Broward County directly via email as well.

    I will say, from talking to many city leaders, those without Full-Time SROs in every school would whole-heartedly welcome an SRO if the SBBC or the State would provide additional funding.

    Finally, while I agree with the call to re-evaluate security in schools, the Governor has an opportunity to lead in this area by providing additional budgetary support to School Districts, like Broward County, for Full-Time SROs. That would require a commmitment to safety of our children, teachers, administrators, staff and volunteers requires a commitment from those holding the purse-strings.

  2. Ghost of McLovin says:

    School cops are a terrible waste of resources. Stop the knee-jerk reactions to every terrible event

  3. Lori Parrish says:

    Buddy the way the SRO program started when I was on the School Board was 1/3 paid by School Board, 1/3 by the county and 1/3 by the Sheriff. When the cities wanted to put their own SRO’s they paid the 1/3 instead of the Sheriff.

    The very first SRO’s in Broward were started by Plantation. Plantations paid to have their own officers in every school in Planatation.

    The children in my area of Davie go to elementary school in Weston. If every city chips in it will all equal out.

  4. agree #2 says:

    I totally agree with the above comment from Ghost of McLovin!

  5. christine says:

    Actually not#2. About 14 years ago, I ran a group at a local high school for at risk girls in Northern Virginia. There was one girl who, I thought, would have been capable of pulling a Columbine. I was going to alert the school authorities the next afternoon. However, the School Resource Officier has already detected the situation. He apprehended her and a few friends on the school parking lot with guns and ammo in the morning. She was planning a massacre.

  6. Richard Lemack, Davie Town Administrator says:

    (Mr. Lemack send me this e-mail. I posted it as a comment so that the largest number of people see it.)

    Mr. Nevins,

    I read your Broward Beat post from earlier today regarding School Resource Officers (SRO) in Broward County Schools. You made reference to the Town of Davie and implied that the Town would not support the desire for an SRO at Nova Eisenhower Elementary based on residency. The Mayor and Town Council have always supported the SRO program for all Davie schools, including the magnet schools. Currently, we have SROs in all Davie middle and high schools, including Nova Middle and Nova High. The Nova Middle and High Schools are home to students throughout Broward County and an SRO is provided without regard to Town residency and voting status. We continue to have an open dialogue with Broward County School Board to identify expanded SRO opportunities.

    Sincerely,

    Richard J. Lemack

  7. toyman says:

    As a single parent raising 2 daughters I agree with everyone there needs to be SRO’S in all broward county schools at all school levels to protect our children. We take them to school in the morning and we expect to see them when we pick them up in the afternoon/evening. What happend is a tragedy and as a parent my heart and soul goes out to all of the families of Sandy Hook. We need to do a better job to make sure our children are safe at school day in and day out. We as parents need to take a stand. We need to flood the school board with phone calls and emails demanding to have SRO’S in all school levels!! If the city of sunrise can do this then all cities can get this done as well too!!! Mayor Ryan great job getting all SRO’S back into all of your schools in Sunrise. It doesnt matter who is going to pay whether its split 3 ways. Bottom line is our children’s lives are at stake here. They need to be protected at all costs. Think about it if their is a police car parked out front of a school that is going to make someone second guess from doing something harmful if anything. So parents if you have a part time SRO in your children’s school lets take a stand and get full time SRO’S in all Broward County Schools once and for all.

  8. Missy says:

    Broward Schools is so hypocritical. They had six experts who worked out of the SIU that were trained in emergency preparedness, safety drills, and threat assessment by the nation’s leading school security consultants. These professionals were in the schools every day. Three of these positions were eliminated in the past three years while paper-pushers with connections were retained by the inept director, Golt. Prevention should be part of the equation, but it isn’t. SROs work for their agency, not the district. They are NOT in the school all day long. Ask any school-based employee how much time they actually spend in the school. The shooter in Bailey, Colorado waited until the SRO left, and then snuck into the school. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away!
    The teachers at Sandy Creek did exactly what they were trained to do. In Broward, half of the experts that were qualified to train the teachers and staff in Broward were laid off. There are now only THREE employees left to train approximately 39,000 faculty/staff and 240,000 students at 260+ schools.

  9. Dan Reynolds says:

    With three hundred million legal guns already on the street and millions more easily available to bad guys on the black market the cow is out of the barn on gun control. Tightening up on background checks should be able to be done.

    School safety? How about a transaction fee on firearms sales dedicated to a school safety trust fund that could be spent on SROs.

    @ Ghost of McLovin. You clearly don’t understand the role played by SROs. The interaction they have with the children helps in many ways.

  10. christine says:

    #9 Great idea on the transaction fee and what the collected fnds could be used for!

  11. Mayor Mike Ryan says:

    To Mr. Reynolds,

    If we harken back to the 100,000 “Cops on the Streets” program of the 1990s, there is a model in place to initiate immediate help for schools. I have already strongly suggested to the School Board they look to that initiative to seek SROs in all of our schools.

    Your idea would be one financial mechanism to fund these SROs. I cannot imagine anyone could oppose such a plan or idea.

  12. ex-nova parent says:

    I pulled my kids out of Nova last year…they’d been there since K at Nova Eisenhower, thru Nova Middle and a few years at Nova HS. I no longer felt Nova was a safe and stimulating environment, rather it was feeling like a “war zone”…constant stories from my kids of violence, “ghetto behavior”, abundance of drugs and a general atmosphere of desensitization to proper Societal Behavior. Administration often looked the other way at the MS and the HS…it was just easier. Mine are good kids, advanced classes, great friends, knew how to “stay away” and “out of trouble”. But the stories they told of what kids do on campus became too much to bear. No one should have to exist in that atmosphere if they really care about learning and making a good life for themselves (and the majority of families at Nova do raise their kids with those values). I have always believed (long before the tragedy in Newtown) that EVERY SCHOOL should not only have an armed SRO assigned but EVERY SCHOOL should have a canine on campus. BAM-what a great “statment” that would make! Drug deterrent, weapon deterrent, bullying deterrent, instigating violence deterrent. One canine unit per school both public and private should be the NORM in this day and age. Private schools can pad the tuition a few hundred per family to cover the salary. Public schools can charge each family a few hundred dollars per year for this “security measure fee” w/ a sliding scale available for those who qualify for free/reduced lunch. If you read the internet today about the armored backpack sales since the tragedy in Newtown (up to $400 spent for something to slide into your child’s backpack to deflect bullets—did it occur to them the only time the kid has the backpack on is arriving/leaving?), I believe that most families would not balk at $100-$200/year to pay for a daily armed officer/canine unit at their child’s school. Even at public HS, parents must buy a $120 calculator for some math classes. While I agree w/ Ghost of McLovin’s comments above, that “knee-jerk” reactions are ridiculous (as in the soaring armored backpack sales), I do feel an armed canine unit in schools will prevent a LOT of what drives this insane & senseless violence and will create an atmosphere of peace and safety, which IS condusive to learning!

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