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BPS set to let charter schools choose on security officers, guardians

BPS News Release


Sept. 10, 2018


VIERA, Florida -- The Brevard County School Board will vote Tuesday whether to authorize local charter schools’ governing boards to choose their own forms of state-approved armed security including volunteer guardians.


The BPS school board will not revisit the issue of volunteer armed guardians at regular public schools at this time.  No agenda item calls for discussion of that during its Sept. 11 meeting.


On this matter, the board is following direction from the Florida Department of Education. The DOE’s Office of Safe Schools advised BPS in August that charter schools must get their local school board’s approval if they want to send volunteer guardians for training provided by county sheriff’s offices.


BPS staff has recommended giving that discretionary approval to charter schools, which are publicly funded through the school district but are overseen by independent governing boards.


The recently passed Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act requires every public school facility including charters to have one of – or a combination of -- three types of armed “safe school officers” who could confront an armed attacker:  school resource officers employed by police departments or sheriff’s offices; safety specialists employed by school districts; or employee-volunteers trained by sheriffs. 


Charter-school governing boards will decide on the appropriate solution for their own campuses if the BPS school board gives the approval Tuesday.


“This approval shall ONLY apply to charter schools,” says the agenda item for the school board’s meeting Tuesday. “This SHALL NOT apply to traditional public schools.”


For regular public schools, the Brevard County School Board chose in May to deploy a combination of school resource officers and full-time safety specialists who are employed by the district and trained by the Brevard Sheriff’s Office.  That decision followed a series of surveys and eight town-hall meetings across the Space Coast with thousands of parents, BPS staff and students.


Media contact: Matt Reed, assistant superintendent/PIO
321-633-1000, ext. 796