Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants to boost security at Jewish schools

Asking legislature for $1 million in next budget

BOCA RATON, Fla. - In the last year, the Jewish community in South Florida has overcome many threats and vandalism, including schools placed on lockdown.

On Monday morning, Governor Rick Scott stopped in Boca Raton to announce he wants to pour more money into protecting students at Jewish day schools around the state.

He plans to ask the state legislature to commit $1 million in next year's budget for beefing up security at the schools. He made the announcement at Katz Hillel Jewish Day School in Boca Raton.

"We have absolutely zero tolerance for these hateful and anti-Semitic acts," he said during the announcement.

Several campuses across South Florida and the country experienced a rash of threats over the past year. Even the neighborhood surrounding the school where Gov. Scott made his announcement have been targeted with anti-Semitic vandalism.

"That shouldn't be happening in our society. And we want every student in our state to be safe," said Gov. Scott.

The pledged money would help pay for such items as video cameras, fences, bullet-proof glass, alarm systems and other safety equipment.

"It's hard to get the necessary funding on our own," said Joe Sharp, executive director at the Katz Hillel Day School. 

In this current year budget, the state gave Jewish schools $654,000 for security measures. There is a lengthy application process and Sharp said Katz Hillel Day School is still waiting on finishing that process to receive their money.

"We have a wish list, we know what we need," he said. "We shouldn't be lax or feel comfortable. We're always on alert to a degree and we're looking to deter any future threats."

Legislators will consider governor Scott's request during the 2018 session, which begins in January.

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