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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough School Board to revisit some of Elia's security plan



Hillsborough County School Board members voted down most of Superintendent MaryEllen Elia's school security plan on Jan. 15, saying they needed more time to consider how best to protect the district's schools.

But a piece of the plan will likely come back for discussion next week.

Member Candy Olson, alarmed at news reports of a principal who was physically assaulted at an elementary school just outside Lakeland on Monday, said she would like the board to reconsider a plan to tighten access at 10 percent of the district's schools. The other 90 percent are considered secure.

"I think there's too many risks to our children and our teachers and our adults," Olson said at the end of a board workshop on Tuesday.

Initial estimates showed it would cost $1.2-million to make the necessary improvements.  The money would come from a contingency fund now worth almost $100-million.

Elia proposed the improvements as part of a larger package that would have included hiring enough armed guards for all of the district's elementary schools. It was Olson who suggested the board vote on the plan's components seperately. The controlled access component failed by a vote of 3 to 4, with Olson casting one of the supporting votes.

The board's next meeting is Feb. 19. A workshop on security is planned in March.

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 6:29pm]


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