School safety funding dominates conversation at Clay superintendent's meeting

Superintendent Addison Davis holding series of 'Listen and Learn' discussions

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County Superintendent Addison Davis is hosting a series of "Listen and Learn" community meetings to discuss school safety.

The first meeting took place Monday night at Fleming Island High School, where Davis answered questions from concerned parents and talked about ways to make sure students are safe.

"I was able to sit on Channel 4's 'Generation Under Fire' panel the other day and when they initially asked a question, 'Do our kids feel safe?' and no one raised their hand, it really saddened me as a leader," Davis said. 

REPLAY: 'Generation Under Fire' broadcast/discussion

Arming teachers to protect children from the type of mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school has been a controversial proposal that Davis doesn’t agree with. 

“Ultimately, I’d rather have law enforcement be the standing individual that is armed within our schools," he said. "At this stage, we shouldn’t be talking about arming our teachers.”

But placing armed resource officers in every school is costly, and the topic of funding for school safety dominated Monday night's meeting. Although Gov. Rick Scott approved $400 million to pay for school security, Clay County only received $2.5 million. Davis said the Clay County school district needs at least $15 million. 

“We’re still underfunding for what we have to do: place a (school resource officer) in every one of our schools, to look at school hardening, metal doors, metal detectors and immediate response mechanisms for teachers," Davis said.

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