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Intersection: Polk Hires School Guardians

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Law enforcement officers block off the entrance to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on Feb. 15, 2018 in Parkland, Fla. A day earlier a gunman opened fire in the school.

After the shooting in Parkland, Florida lawmakers set aside money to beef up school security. $162 million will help schools provide safety officers at every campus.

From the education desk this week, Intersection takes a look at one district that’s opted to spend that money on a school guardian safety program.

The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act requires an armed police officer, sheriff’s deputy or guardian in every school, but Polk County public schools says it doesn’t have the time or money for 85 new school resource officers.

Instead it will hire and train 90 new staff members and a Director of District School Safety to oversee the program. Polk County’s sheriff Grady Judd has been a champion of school guardians and his office is providing the training.

Polk County Public Schools superintendent Jacqueline Byrd joins Intersection to explain how the program will work. 

Education reporting on 90.7 News is supported by Helios Education Foundation

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Matthew Peddie

About Matthew Peddie

Host of WMFE's Intersection & Assistant News Director

Matthew Peddie grew up in New Zealand and studied journalism at the University of Western Ontario. After graduating with an MA in Journalism he returned to Christchurch, working as a reporter for Radio Live and Radio New Zealand. He’s reported live from the scene of earthquakes, criminal trials and rugby ... Read Full Bio »