Palm Beach County parents concerned about school safety

'Our elected officials and our school board has 8 weeks to make our children safe at school'
Posted at 11:39 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 00:07:48-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — With the tragedy in Texas, parents are looking into what's being done to keep children safe in school districts like Palm Beach County.

May 26 is the last day of school for children like Arielle Richardson, who attend Del Prado Elementary in Boca Raton.

"A lot of kids didn't show up today because their parents were nervous about sending to school today," said Richardson. "They're aware of current events and I try to shield them from these really tragic situations because I want them to not go to school not feeling uncomfortable or scared, but it's a reality."

Boca Raton police had extra patrols on campuses Thursday, as well as school board police, until the start of summer.

"As I was walking through the schools, the hallways of the schools, I was thinking about the events of yesterday and not so comfortable," said Richardson.

She said she supports first amendment rights when it comes to safety and that a bigger police presence on campuses is the answer.

"We're in a war for the safety of our own kids and if we can invest in other countries' security, we ought to be investing here," said Timothy Miller, former secret service agent and former police officer.

Miller said limiting the points of entrance and exit to a school would add to safety as well as upgrade technology that can detect a firearm or other weapons on campus.

"Technology is the security foundation of the future. There are cameras now that identify weapons before they can ever even make it into the schools," said Miller. "I think parents need to get way more engaged partnering with school administrative officials to say, 'Hey, security is no longer something you can take out of the budget. I want my child safe when they go to school every day.'"

Palm Beach County schools have an officer in all 179-district operated schools with the help of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and other law enforcement agencies.

"We have eight weeks of summer and our elected officials and our school board has eight weeks to make our children safe at school," said Richardson.

Miller also suggests that parents sit down and have those tough conversations including mental health with their children in an age-appropriate manner.