Parents react to district adding 50 armed security guards in Pasco County schools

School district looks to hire school guards
Posted at 9:41 PM, May 02, 2018

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — The Pasco County School District is looking to hire 50 armed school security guards to work at elementary schools starting in August.

The district hopes to hire former military or retired law enforcement for the positions.

The new safety plan comes after new state requirements following the mass shooting in Parkland where 17 people were killed on Valentine's Day.

Brenda Golnik said adding armed safety guards on campus may ease her children's concerns.

"Yeah, they're afraid. They're nervous. If they see a fire truck, an ambulance or police car come to school they immediately text me, they're afraid," said Golnik.

On Wednesday night, Pasco School leaders took questions from parents and students about school safety at a meeting on the campus of River Ridge High School in New Port Richey.

District leaders said the school safety guards will receive training from the sheriff's office.

"I think they'll be able to handle it, I just wish it didn't have to come to that," said Golnik.

Pasco County high schools and middle schools will continue to have school resource officers on campus.

Parents urged district leaders to re-evaluate security on all school campuses. Paul Bognilo encouraged school officials to consider adding more fences around schools. He also said school staff should always ask visitors for IDs.

"I think we should always be ready, It's going to happen, if it doesn't happen, that's great, but the school needs to be locked down, anybody that comes in needs to be checked and that's that," said Bognilo.

Pasco County Schools will hold another School Safety Town Hall Meeting on Monday, May 7 at Wiregrass Ranch High School from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The school is located at 2909 Mansfield Blvd., Wesley Chapel.