Wake Board of Education Tables Elementary School Security Vote

After discussion about whether to start posting unarmed security guards at public elementary schools, the Wake County Board of Education members decided Tuesday to delay the vote for another meeting.

This week, the Wake County Public Schools Department of Security publicly announced its  recommendation for security guards in elementary schools. Parents and community members immediately decried the proposal for a variety of reasons.

The Great Schools in Wake Coalition, which was an active supporter of the old diversity-based school assignment model, released a statement Monday saying “Where is community involvement on this issue? Why the rush to vote when there is no evidence that demonstrates that security officers will make schools safer?”

At Tuesday’s work session, John Tedesco and Debra Goldman were absent, and Deborah Prickett arrived after the discussion. Keith Sutton said it would not be fair to those who missed the discussion to have to vote on the recommendation, and tabled the vote until a later date.

According to Russ Smith, senior director of security, the No. 1 request, based on parent feedback for elementary schools, was that they wanted their schools to be locked at all times.

“The purpose of those security officers would allow the schools to lock all doors to the schools, which is currently not being done at our schools,” he said.

The officer would be placed at the front of the school or a certain place within the school to screen and sign in all visitors. This process currently varies by school.

Martin said while it’s not the plan he would have suggested, he has become its unlikely champion.

“I think we can all agree we want teachers in the classroom, not monitoring hallways and doors,” he said.

Compared to the annual salary of a teacher or teacher assistant to fill the role, an unarmed security officer would be more economical, he said.

“This is one of the most cost-effective personnel solutions that might exist,” Martin said.

But Kevin Hill expressed desire to spend the money on infrastructure, bringing older schools up to date with the security features found at more modern schools.

Goldman previously said she’d prefer armed security guards rather than unarmed ones.

The Wake Board of Commissioners said, as quoted by WRAL, it was another example of wasteful spending by the school board.

4 thoughts on “Wake Board of Education Tables Elementary School Security Vote

  1. This is pathetic! I am a Marine who has heard almost all the excuses. The heck with those NRA clowns. This approach is NOT a solution or a deterrant for people waving guns in our schools or any community.

    Get rid of semi, auto guns and multi clip rounds.

    Hey NRA and your poster boy Charleton Heston (who was a bit gone in the head when he raised that rifle in the air 10 years ago and screamed from my dead hands), it’s not people that kill people, it’s guns that kill people, PERIOD. Do you think a person without a gun is dangerous compared to one with a gun, get a clue. Also, no so called hunter uses a auto weapon and multi clip weapon to hunt, unless you do not know what you are doing in the bush

  2. I’d propose having a class and certification of parents for a rotational presence at the school.
    Start with those having military and public service backgrounds. Volunteer basis should work — even if we can’t be there every day, the randomness would have the would-be shooter looking elsewhere.

    Where are all the non-lethal weapons that were in the news 10 years ago? Audible, foam, stun, etc? Things to stop the perp, cold, without the need for the “guard” to be amred with something that scares children or could accidentally discharge, etc?

  3. i have a 5 year old in elementary school. i fear everyday when i drop him off that something is going to happen at his school. just because we live in nc doesnt mean that it wont happen to our schools. the school board really needs to get on the ball with this. i think that they should lock all doors and have a armed/unarmed security guard at every school!

  4. I have two little boys in the Wake County school system (K & 2) and I would NOT want armed guards in my sons’ school and unarmed guards are a waste of money. Their school keeps their doors locked and they can buzz you in which is enough security to keep me happy. If they start to have armed guards and armed teachers in elementary schools then I will start home-schooling my kids. The solution to the gun problem is not more guns! Even soldiers on Army bases are not allowed to walk around with guns and they are fully trained in all aspects of gun handling and shooting.