Jacksonville — Nearly 3 Months after the Parkland school in South Florida, where 17 people died, Duval County Public Schools is moving forward with plans to put armed school assistants on campus starting next school year. It's a new position in addition to the police officers that already work for the district. DCPS says some of the requirements for the new position include having a high school diploma, being able to read, write, speak, and understand English and having some security related experience. Other requirements include having a concealed weapons permit and going through a 132-hour comprehensive firearm safety training through the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office or some other state law enforcement agency.
The new position has some parents worried about their child’s safety.
“Its just not something I think would be a smart move.” Says Jennie Lepis.
But the move made by the school board is getting some praise from parents.
“It’s about time we actually have someone there to protect our children.” Says one parent who wanted to remain anonymous.
School board member Becki Couch thinks that its time for parents to step up and demand more funding for schools so that way the school board doesn’t have to make these types of decisions.
“It’s time, that the public get more engaged and involved before it gets to this place.” Says Couch.
One of the other school board members, Scott Shine, voted in favor of putting armed security assistants on campuses and he says the district needs more than 100 of them in place by next school year.
“We’re providing an environment for young officers to be able to enter law enforcement. Says Shine.
The school district says the new assistants will make a little more than $20,000 dollars a year. The district says the assistants won’t have any law enforcement authority, which means they won’t be able to prevent fights or arrest people.