More security guards to join students at Duval County schools

Published On: Aug 01 2013 11:34:09 AM EDT   Updated On: Aug 02 2013 12:02:12 AM EDT

In less than three weeks, school bells will ring all across Duval County. And with the start of the new school year, parents and students will see a number of changes -- including beefed up security.


Some Jacksonville parents say the big concern at schools now is not necessary reading and writing, but safety.

"Our children come first, and when they're in school we shouldn't have to worry if they're safe," parent Tamara Raddle said.

So when kids return to school later this month in Duval County, others will be joining them in the classroom: more security guards.

As part of the budget approved by the Duval County School Board this week, at least one unarmed security guard will be stationed at all elementary schools, and an armed police officer will be at all middle and high schools.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said it's in response to problems that have occurred recently and because its something parents have requested.

"I think this is about being proactive rather than reactive with some of the discipline issues, mainly bullying, that we see in our schools," Vitti said. "We want more adults in the building to focus on preventing issues, and when they do occur, we have adults on the ground that can problem solve with students to talk through, why did you make the decisions you made, and what can we do differently so it doesn't happen again."


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