Duval County School Board chairwoman reacts to governor's safety plan

$450M proposal includes school resource officers at every campus


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The chairwoman of the Duval County School Board joined other school leaders in saying she supports Gov. Rick Scott's safety plan for Florida schools but is concerned about where the money will come from.

Leaders with school districts across the Jacksonville area have been sharing their reactions to Scott's $450 million plan, since he announced it Friday.

The proposal followed the slaying of 17 people, who were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. The plan includes adding a mental health counselor to every school and adding metal detectors and bullet proof doors.

With only two weeks left in the legislative session, the governor and lawmakers face a tight deadline to get the measure passed.

Duval County School Board Chairwoman Paula Wright sat down with News4JAX on The Morning Show, saying the board appreciates the governor's plan and pledge to keep students safe, but is concerned about how it will be funded.

Wright, however, commended the governor's idea of putting a school resource officer in every Florida public school.

"Right now in Duval, we have an SRO at every high school and middle school. Then they drive by elementary schools within that quadrant. It would really help us to provide SROs at all of our elementary schools," Wright said.  

Following the mass shooting in Parkland, the school board met with Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams, deputies and the Duval County School Police Department to revisit their safety plans. The DCPS Police Department also meets with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis to ensure that students are kept safe, Wright said.

Last week, President Donald Trump suggested the idea of arming and training teachers to carry firearms in school. Scott didn't support that approach, and Wright said she hopes it won't happen in Duval County.

"I can never say never, but that is not anything that we're looking forward to implementing here in Duval," Wright said. 

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