Florida governor wants to boost security at Jewish schools

Jacksonville has 2 Jewish day schools

By Corley Peel - Reporter, Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to set aside another $1 million to beef up security at Jewish day schools around the state.

Scott on Monday said he would ask that legislators set aside money to pay for such items as video cameras, fences, bullet-proof glass, alarm systems and other safety equipment. The governor announced his proposal at Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton.

Jacksonville has two Jewish day schools: Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, which teaches students in kindergarten through eighth grade, and Torah Academy, which teaches students in nursery school through eighth grade.

Legislators will consider the spending request during the 2018 session that starts in January. The Republican-controlled Legislature gave the Jewish schools $654,000 earlier this year.

Legislators pushed for the security upgrades after a wave of bomb threats against Jewish community centers and day schools.

Parent Richard Davis told News4Jax that he's never had concerns about sending his children to Martin J.Gottlieb Day School at the Jacksonville Jewish Center. But after Jewish centers across Florida received threats last year, he said, he made their safety a priority. 

“It’s definitely something that’s a concern when there are threats going on in the community to all Jews across the state. I think we’re more fortunate than other people, but I think that anything to increase security is a good idea," Davis said. “It’s good to know at least some proposed action is hopefully going to be taking place."

If the proposal is passed, Davis said, he’s curious to see how the $1 million for security will be distributed to the schools. But for now, he said, he trusts his children are safe. 

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.