Jacksonville, FL — Jacksonville leaders in education and law enforcement say there is no single idea to stop school violence, but a multitude of procedures that can be improved to tighten security.
During a roundtable discussion on Jacksonville's Morning News today, Duval Schools Superintendent Patricia Willis addressed the role of arming teachers and administrators.
“Should there be an armed guard in our schools, I think so. I think our school resource officers, but I don’t know that that’s the role we would ask the teachers to take”, Willis said during the live broadcast.
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams echoed the Superintendent, saying it is too much to ask of a teacher or administrator.
“That individual needs to have the proper training and it’s not rubber stamp training, it’s consistent. As we talk worst case scenario, probably one of the most challenging situations you can be in as a law enforcement officer is being in a confined space with another individual and talk about having a gun battle. That’s an incredibly challenging position”, Williams said.
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry addressed the greater issue of violence in the city, specifically the shooting death of 7-year-old Tashawn Gibbons, and cited the need for prevention and intervention programs that are consistent.
“The Kids Hope Alliance is a new organization that will deliver those services, and you’re talking about a long play, a long investment here. And we have to get it right. But here’s what has to happen: There has to be a commitment from the Mayor’s Office, the City Council, the schools, to put pressure on the elected officials to continue to invest in these programs”, Curry said.
Watch video from the broadcast here: