Clay County School Board approves school security plan

Police departments involved in plan

By Ethan Calloway - Anchor/reporter

ORANGE PARK, Fla. - The Clay County School Board approved its security plan Thursday night, going with the most cost-effective option.

It comes after Florida created a school safety program in response to the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. It requires an armed, trained officer in each of the state's public schools.

Amanda Skinner's child will enroll in Clay County Schools for the first time in fall. She said she hopes the addition of officers in every school will increase safety, but couldn't say whether the new measures made her feel more comfortable.

"If something happens, I believe that they [officers] would do the best that they can," Skinner said. “I think that it is one of those situations where you just have to trust that everyone is going to do the best they can and protect your children.”

How to pay for the officers is still a hot topic for school board members and lawmakers like Congressman John Rutherford, who believes the government should be responsible for the funding.

Here's how the funding plan breaks down:

  • School resource officers already in place will remain at county high schools
  • Sheriff's deputies will now be placed in all junior high schools
  • Districts will hire school safety officers to be trained by the Sheriff's Office
  • The hired officers will be placed in each elementary school

The plan comes at a cost of $1.2 million, which is $3 million less than the county's most expensive option.

News4Jax reached out to the Clay County Sheriff's Office. It said Sheriff Darryl Daniels did not want to comment on the district's new security plan until he has collected more information.

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