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Fishhawk moms raising funds to secure Hillsborough County schools

Posted at 5:27 PM, Dec 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-17 18:22:54-05

FISHHAWK, Fla. — A group of moms in the Fishhawk area want to keep kids safe in schools. They created the non-profit, Coalition for School Safety after seeing the horror in Parkland.

Jessica Coffman is on the board and says the goal is to come up with security ideas and raise money to help the district with funding issues.

"It’s all of our responsibility,” said Coffman. "We are a community and if we as a community can’t step up and take care of this and who really can? Everyone wants to think this is all on the county but the fact is we can’t wait for the county to find the funds for this.”

This fall, the Hillsborough County School District began installing buzzers at every school. Some are audio, others have video too. Coffman hopes to install a second camera at a different high traffic entry point at Newsome that captures audio and video so folks inside the school can screen guests before they let them in. She says it buys people on the inside more time in an emergency situation.

"Even if it’s just a few moments for people that are in that front office to get to security, to secure that extra lock and remove keys, whatever it takes to buy a few extra moments that could possibly save a child’s life, it’s worth it,” she said. "What if it is my daughter, what if it is my son, what if it is my child at the gate?What is my child’s best friend? These are things we can’t undo so any extra moments we have are priceless."

They also want to install cameras throughout the school but they come with a $60K price tag. They want to put up tinted window coverings and extra PA systems too.

Since creating the group in the spring of 2018, they’ve created a list of schools they’d like to go to next that they say are in need of upgrades. The group is in the process of collecting funds for their work - click here to go to their website.