Leon County Officials Re-evaluate School Safety

Dec 21, 2015

Credit MGN Online

In the wake of recent bombs threats against New York, Los Angeles and Miami school districts, Leon County officials are re-evaluating school safety.

While no attacks were carried out, the threats are causing concern. Leon County schools and sheriff officers are reviewing the district’s security plans. School Board Chair Dee Dee Rasmussen says students are affected by world events.

“We have 50 schools and 33,000 students. We are in fact a microcosm of the broader society. So you will see issues that you see in any community you will see in our schools,” she said.

Currently, school resource deputies are stationed at every middle and high school, and rotate between elementary schools. Superintendent Jackie Pons wants to expand that law enforcement presence.

“One of the issues I’m really concerned about that I’m bringing forward will be bringing safety officers back into our elementary schools," he said.

Some worry law enforcement intervention in schools can have unintended consequences. Earlier this fall, a video went viral depicting a South Carolina student being thrown to the floor and dragged out of class by a law enforcement officer. But Pons says Leon County’s deputies work to build a culture of trust and respect.

“I can’t ever remember a case when they haven’t done just an exceptional job and we’re very fortunate to have them. If we’re going to solve problems of crime in the community, it really starts with how we work together and the respect that students should have for law enforcement,” he said.

Sheriff Mike Wood will meet with Leon County principals in January to discuss safety protocols for field trips.