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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Some want to see added security measures become permanent at Hernando schools



 Law enforcement in Hernando County increased their presence throughout the district's schools following Friday's deadly elementary school shooting in  Connecticut , providing additional security and peace of mind.

Some within the district say they would like to see the extra security continue beyond this week, adding permanent school resource officers at all of the district's schools, including its nine elementary schools.

Here's a snippet of what they're saying about having a school resource officers at each school:

“I would love it. I have always asked for that. Always,” said Brooksville Elementary Principal Mary LeDoux.

“That would be wonderful,” said Challenger K-8 principal Sue Stoops.

“I certainly think they’re worth the money spent,” said Moton Elementary principal Mark Griffith, noting that the officers can be very proactive at the elementary level, teaching kids about bullying, decision-making skills and conflict resolution, among other things. “I think they would pay dividends in the long run.”

 “I would love to have one,” he said.

“I think we should have them,” said Joe Vitalo, president of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association. “A lot of school resource officers love to help with character skills in the classrooms. There’s a lot of character building they can do at that (elementary) age level.”

The school district has a total of 13 school resource officers working at its high schools, middle schools and K-8 schools, with the exception of Winding Waters K-8. Resource officers from four different schools spend time at Challenger.

The school district pays for nine of the officers, at an annual cost of $584,000. The Sheriff’s Office pays for the other four, said Barry Crowley, the school district’s manager of safety and security.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 5:44pm]


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