Hillsborough County School board members vote to fund armed security guards at elementary schools

TAMPA, Fla. - In a 4 to 3 vote, the Hillsborough County School Board approved funds for armed security guards at elementary schools.

The approved plan will add 20 armed security officers to the 19 already in place at elementary schools around the county.  Middle and high schools have school resource officers.

On Wednesday, 16 Hillsborough County School principals went before the board and asked for security officers in their schools.

"Sandy Hook only confirmed our greatest fears," said Dian Wyatt, Elementary School Principal.

"I never know what the next angry encounter is going to bring and I would appreciate security support," Cindy Dye, Nelson Elementary Principal, told board members.

They told board members they're school administrators, but often end-up first responders during conflicts.

"Thursday before Thanksgiving there was a shooting in Brandon.  We went on lockdown," said Elizabeth Giles, Seffner Elementary Principal.

"As a principal coming from a school that had a full time resource officer, I'm now in a school that does not have anyone.  And tell the truth, I'm feeling a little unsure, unsafe, and afraid at times."

But there was opposition to the $4.5 million dollar a year plan.

"As emotionally charged as this issue is, we need to be very, very analytical.  We need to be very, very focused on trying to provide safety and not equating safety with more guns on campus," said Jose Colindres.

The approved plan sets funding for one year and will have to be debated again if they want to continue the plan after 2014.

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