NewsPasco County


Tampa Bay Congressman, board members brainstorm new school security measures

Posted at 10:36 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 23:16:27-05

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. — A Tampa Bay congressman says "everything is on the table" when discussing measures to prevent another school massacre in Florida. 

Congressman Gus Bilirakis, a republican who represents Florida's 12th district, met with Pasco County School Board members Tuesday night to brainstorm security changes in local schools. 


The congressman said during Tuesday's workshop, "we need to do something drastic." ABC Action News asked if he'd consider gun law reforms. 

"Well, if that's what it takes, sure," said Rep. Bilirakis. 

At the local level, school leaders say funding is desperately needed to hire more resource officers.

“I think that we need more SRO’s in the schools and that’s why we’re here and that’s a no brainer," said Rep. Bilirakis. "One SRO is not enough for these schools and the elementary schools don’t have any in Pasco County.”

Nearly one week after a gunman stormed into a south Florida high school, killing 17 people, parents are calling for better security at school. 

"It scared me," said Rebecca Mercer. "You know, to think that my son has to go to school everyday and is he going to be safe?" 

School board vice chair, Alison Crumbley, said she is against allowing teachers and staff members to be armed on campus. 

"I want to see more trained people who have gone to academies, they've gone two years of training, they understand this," said Crumbley. "I don't want that responsibility put on our teachers."

Mercer says she's open to the idea, and supports any measure that keeps her child safe. 

"I just think if they had something there then they could help defend the students," she said. 

District staff also discussed erecting a 10-foot fence around every Pasco County school for additional security. It's a move that, according to the district, would cost an estimated $11-13 million.