ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Students in St. Johns County head back to class Wednesday and like parents in every other school district in the area -- school safety is top of mind for parents.
Face it, going back to school is supposed to be a time when it’s about getting to take your kids’ pictures as they put on a new outfit and sling on that new backpack. Talk about their new teachers. But these days the innocence is gone.
When each one of us hugs and kisses our kids goodbye there’s that nagging worry about their safety because of what’s been in the news about school shootings. You can’t shake it. You can’t ignore it. It’s a parent’s reality. But you can’t let the kids know it worries you. You just reassure them that they’ll be safe.
Working during the summer to secure the schools as students get ready to go back to class is what St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick and others in law enforcement and those responsible for student safety have been doing.
“We spent all summer actually with our Youth Resource Division,” Hardwick said. “As a matter of fact, we’re actually wrapping up some training as we speak. Just yesterday we met with our school staff at each individual school.”
“We’re ready to get back to business and get these kids back in the seats and get back to some normalcy here in St Johns County and across the nation,” Hardwick said.
Securing a single point of entry has been a priority in virtually every district. Each school has been gone through one by one.
“One thing is we take ownership in this,” Hardwick said. “This is a partnership among the schools our parents our community and staff. We’ve had a lot of training at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s office in partnership with the St. Johns County schools. We’re ready for the school to open up on Wednesday.”
Sheriff Hardwick said not to be cliché, but he wants to remind everyone “if you see something say something.”