School Board Wastes Money Guarding Themselves


While the Broward County School Board scours its budget looking for ways to save money, I suggest they look at their own meetings.

During the public speaking portion of the meeting 11:30 a.m. the School Board has five armed guards lining the walls to protect members from The Unruly Masses.

Five armed guards all on the taxpayer’s payroll.  All collecting salaries and benefits to guard the Board during a non-controversial meeting.

It happens at every meeting. Dozens of times a year.  

And those five guards are in addition to the three guards — usually chatting with each other on your dime —  sitting at the front door of the School Board headquarters.  

After leaving the School Board building, I walked by the main gate to the jail.  This is the place containing some of the most dangerous criminals in South Florida.

One guard was on the gate. 

Yes, I know that there are more detention deputies inside the jail.

But there was only one guard on the jail’s main gate, compared with eight protecting the School Board.

I attended a rally last year featuring former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who really is threatened regularly.  He had two guards.

Giuliani two.  Broward School Board eight.   

Here is a picture of Madonna, who can’t leave her house without bodyguards. Notice there are only two.

Madonna two.  Broward School Board eight.

It’s as if the crack school police uncovered Al Qaeda’s latest hit list and found the Broward School listed right after New York and Washington.

The sad fact of all this wasted money is that the school board police I use the term “police loosely can not protect anybody. 

Many of the “police at the meeting looked so out of shape, I could use crutches and still outrun them.  And I’m in my 60s!

Folks, you are paying for this ridiculousness.

Despite their protestations that the system is running out of money, we pay for this unnecssary over-protection of the School Board at every meeting. 

The School Board can moan and groan and point their fingers at Tallahassee for their fiscal problems.  But when any School Board member points a finger at Tallahassee, three fingers point back at her. 

This situation with the over-policing of their own meetings is a disgrace, especially when the School Board is discussing laying off teachers! 

If Board members overstaff their own meetings with “police,” just imagine what goes on in the rest of the school headquarters.

The 19-member school police force probably should be abolished and contracted out to a city with real cops, like Fort Lauderdale. 

The school board police and how they are used at meeting is more proof that School Board misspends your tax money. 

19 Responses to “School Board Wastes Money Guarding Themselves”

  1. Nevins Is Right says:

    When is the School Board going to stop wasting money on administrators and paper pushers? Cut the staff in the crystal palace before firing teachers!!!!!

  2. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Boundry meetings can get pretty heated but regular SB meeting. I don’t think so….there is so much waste all you need to do is talk with retirees who can’t lose their jobs to get the truth. Actually, the move to let go the group of teachers that had already retired received their drop money and then we allowed to return to work. They should not be able to sue the SB….let new and refreshing people take their places and go and retire or volunteer and donate your time you tight wads.

  3. Git R Done says:

    Boy you got that one “right” Beth, the Bounty Hunter…
    The wasteful money is disgusting and to think they have an Audit Department too?
    Why don’t they “Audit” ALL money that is spent by the SBBC and give the answers back to the people by way of the newspapers?

  4. Insider says:

    Buddy – you are right on! How about all those DARE officers on every campus? Even at elementary schools that don’t have any crime??

  5. John Daily says:

    The School Board are out of touch with the public. Why is their a term limit for the governor, Cabinet, legislature, but not the school board? They go on for ever, like Bob Parks and Beverely Gallagher. TERM LIMITS FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD.

  6. A Teacher says:

    Not only are the school police a waste of money. They cover up crimes in the schools. They say they investigate the crimes. Then they never report them anywhere, to hide them from parents and the public. The real rate of crime in the schools and the crimes reported to the real police forces are vastly different. A student struck a teacher in my school and the school police did nothing because the student’s parent was an administrator downtown. Some protection.

  7. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    You better believe those incident reports and hidden….principals don’t want their schools to look bad and will cover-up whatever they can and report crimes that only get out to the public really fast.

  8. Help Cities says:

    Dear Buddy,

    One thing the school board could do with their security staff is place them into some of their very low security risk schools as SRO’s, where a police officer may not be needed, and in that way help offset the heavy financial burden of cities.

    By law, it is the responsibility of the school board to provide security in their schools. Our school board has an entire security division for that reason, while other school boards actually maintain their own police forces for that purpose. I agree that the best way to secure our schools is by using local police officers. This encourages good law enforcement coordination. The issue is how to pay for that service in an increasingly difficult fiscal environment.

    One of many unreciprocated concessions that Broward cities provided to the school board, when times were better, was to absorb most of the cost of SRO police officers posted to secure public schools. In my city, school board paid about 10% of that cost and cities paid 90% even though school board maintains their own security department. Increasingly that arrangement is no longer affordable. Even BSO has been forced to cut SRO’s in schools and inevitably that will need to happen soon in cities. Crime is on the rise in our cities and cops are not easy to fund.

    The Broward League of Cities confronted the School Board about this problem and they “responded” to the crisis as follows: They “agreed” (nothing in writing) that over time (no particular date was set) they would try (no definition of “try”) to pay for as much as 50% (no set schedule was established) of the cost of SRO officers, assuming they can find the money (the biggest caveat of all). Based on my experience, that’s another way of saying that they are likely to do nothing.

    Incredibly, we have cities and officials that seemed satisfied with that “deal.” Obviously, I am not one of those officials.

    To offer an example, in Pembroke Pines, our residents pay over $1.1 million yearly for SRO’s in district public schools — an expense that by law should fall entirely on the school board. Our entire police budget is about $36 million. For us, a million dollars in SRO’s is a lot of money when we have families complaining about sharp rises in crime within gated communities.

    Now, let me be clear — I completely support the concept of having cops in schools. I am 100% for making sure that continues. I just think the time has come for the school board to pay for 100% of that cost, now, because frankly we cities just can’t afford it anymore.

    This is especially true if they are going to continue wasting tax dollars as they seem constantly to do on a whole host of things. The people over there have lost their sense of business priorities. They simply manage their money poorly. And their ability to partner with cities is at an all time low.

    I happen to agree that education in Florida is too poorly funded and understand why our school board is making that argument. But given the way that the Broward School Board spends, how they use the resources currently at their disposal, constitutes an even stronger strong argument to the contrary. You can’t ask the public for more money when your record for spending current resources is so unimpressive. They rob themselves of the very credibility they need to get more funding.

    This is very sad to say but it’s true and so for the sake of all it needs to be said. I sincerely hope that they reform how they do business. Otherwise it’s our kids and communities that will suffer.

    Thanks for your article.


    Angelo Castillo, Vice Mayor
    City of Pembroke Pines


    Thank you, Angelo, for your well-thought out comment.

    There is a difference, however, between the School Resource Officers and the school police force. The SRO’s do the real policing of the schools.

    The school police “handle personnel cases and act as special responders for school emergencies and provide security services to district sponsored events,” according to the school system’s website.

    God Forbid they would have to be “special responders” in a real emergency. They have neither the training nor the equipment to do that.

    The “district sponsored events” include guarding School Board members.

    They are largely human relations personnel with a badge, a very scary thought to anyone who works for the school system. They investigate alleged wrong-doing by staff. Why any agency would need sworn officers to do what is done by human relations specialists in any other workplace is beyond me?

    Keep reading In the future I will have hair-raising stories about how these “investigations” are conducted.

  9. Blue Man Scoop says:

    Angelo Castillo – please run for school board! You eloquently said what I always think.

  10. The Old Ghost says:

    Angelo Castillo is right. The School Board continues to waste money and ignore what they should pay for, like the officers in the school. Soneone needs to find out how many times the School Board travels to conventions and why all of them need to go.

  11. Smackaroo says:

    Fraud, waste and abuse…everybody say it with me…Fraud, waste and abuse…one more time for the people in the cheap seats…Fraud, waste and abuse.

    Each of the highest level admins have their own little scam going and there is an unspoken agreement that you got my back I got yours and we all keep our own scams alive to skim and scarf off the taxpayers’ money because it is the only account that will not go away, even in tough times.

    Cronies, family members and unqualified employees; oh my!!!

    Do what you’re told, shut up and look the other way or you will be thrown out without so much as a blink of an eye.

    People are scared of the way the system is run like a mob family. They cannot speak freely without fear of retaliation; they see things everyday that would never pass the sniff test in the private sector; they see waste and abuse while knowing it will stay and they will lose their jobs.

    It is a sick and toxic culture and unforturnately it all starts at the top. What message have we got from the top? Corvette, big salary, home technology upgrade, enabling the poor and inept managers as thanks for keeping the district’s dirty laundry out of the paper and agreeing to tell the story that is agreed to during every crisis or sales pitch to the public. These are not grounds for tenure and promotion, they are grounds for criminal prosecution.

  12. A Distressed Mother says:

    My son was involved in a shoving incident in a middle school. He was shoved against a locker by three boys and cut his head. The school police ruled that everybody was equally guilty after finding out that one of the boys parents was a lawyer who threatened to sue. I was very offended by their tactics, including recording my son without my permission. These investigators bullied my son into saying certain things. I would have much rather had real police take over the investigation in a legal manner.

  13. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Smackaroo, you are right on!!!!

  14. Buddy Is Right But says:


    Everything you say in your not to my comment is true. But Dade and other school boards have their own full fledged police forces. Florida statutues allow school boards to create police forces just like cities have. Broward has chosen not to do that, but they could if they wanted.

    That aside, my basic point and yours is about the same. I want our police in there — there’s no question we do a good job. I just need to get paid for that service, especially if the school board going to waste money. I have no other problem with the arrangement that in my view otherwise works perfectly well.

    Regards as always,


  15. And Don't Even Get Me Started With... says:


    And don’t even get me started with this business of the school board not having money to equally fund our public charter schools. They pay charters half of what they spend per student in the district schools. Half. And yet we still outperform them in Pembroke Pines. Our success exasperates them and that’s why they don’t want to fund us properly. The success of charter schools make traditional district schools look like they’re not trying hard enough. And so obviously they want to kill us off.

    Make no mistake, their choice to fund charter schools so woefully at home, while making arguments in Tallahassee that they don’t have enough money, while simultaneously wasting millions all over the place, robs them of credibility and lays bare their true motivations.

    With all the belly aching about how the school board can’t make ends meet, let’s just remember that the charter schools (which are every bit as public as any other public schools) have it TWICE as bad because we only get half the funding.

    And yet there’s money for all kinds of waste over there. So like I said — don’t even get me started. The veil these people throw over the entire school funding hypocrisy is just about razor thin, very transparent, and it makes it difficult for people like me who are education advocates to have any sympathy for them. No justice no peace.

    End of rant. My very best to all,

    Regards as always,


  16. The Truth says:

    Doesn’t your wife work for the school system, Nevins? Is that why you have a hard-on for the School Board?

    FROM BUDDY: My wife worked for the school system. She no longer does.
    I don’t have a “hard-on” for the School Board. I remain annoyed at the incompetence and waste of money I constantly see among some of those running the schools.
    Most members of the School Board are well meaning. Some have even tried to reform the system. At every turn, members are thwarted by an entrenched bureaucracy of administrators.
    I encourage anyone to send me verifiable tips about waste, misspending and poor administration in the school system. Write

  17. Plantation Truth says:

    Wow…….i took the time to peruse their website:
    Talk about a waste and duplication of services with the County/Municipal SRO’s already in the school.
    Wonder how much money is wasted there?

  18. A Cop? says:

    The website mentioned in Plantation Truth’s comment says the head of the school security is DR. Joe Melita. That sounds like a educator, not a cop. I’ve never heard of a cop call himself “DR.” Only educators do that.
    So if this Melita is an educator, what is he doing as the head of a police force? Maybe a School Board member can enlighten us.

  19. Melita's Victim says:

    Why don’t you investigate how many teachers are persecuted for disagreeing with their principals or their ap’s? Or how many teachers are investigated, had their reputation ruined and nothing is found in the end.