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It's down to the wire for Hillsborough security discussion



Armed guards in elementary schools?

A vote is scheduled by the Hillsborough County School Board on Wednesday at 2 p.m.

If the board discusses the concept indepth and in the sunshine, it will be the first time since members voted down Superintendent MaryEllen Elia's initial plan on Jan. 15. Subsequent workshops on security have consisted largely of presentations by staff and a security consultant.

Board members have asked questions about Elia's new plan, which will phase the new community school officers in over four years. But those conversations have been one-on-one, not in public.

And the time on Wednesday is not unlimited. A workshop on the board's policies and "way of work" is scheduled at 3 p.m. And the 2 p.m. agenda also includes the hiring of a school bus consultant. That comes before the security plan. And it's generated considerable discussion in the past.

According to documents posted on the agenda, the guards would be paid $12.21 an hour, quite a bit less than sworn law enforcement officers. Eventually the expansion would cost the district about $4.5-million a year.

Here are the duties of the new recruits, according to the agenda documents:

1. Build positive relationships with students, staff and the community

2. Regular checks on all exterior doors and gates that should be locked for access control.

3. Regular checks of parking lots, playground, PE courts, and perimeter.

4. Regular interaction with students during lunch periods.

5. Instruct students on approved crime prevention, law enforcement, or security related programs. Topics would include, but not be limited to, walking to school safely, bullying, and Cyber-bullying.

6. Provide ongoing training to staff members regarding security issues and emergency procedures. Training would include follow - up debriefings regarding school emergency drills.

7. Speak to citizen groups concerning security or law enforcement related topics.

8. Assist the school community with any security problems that occur at the school.

9. Meet with parents who have concerns regarding security at their child’s school.

10. Assist with pedestrian and vehicle traffic issues as they arise on campus.

11. Serve on school and community committees.

12. Attend after school functions to assist with security, if requested (PTA Meetings, Open House, parent - teacher conferences).

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:39am]


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