Flagler officials to make safety and security improvements to schools

Last Updated: Thursday, March 08, 2018, 8:45 PM EST

Flagler school officials and law enforcement are pushing to make schools safer after the school shooting in Parkland.

  • Officials, law enforcement team up to talk school safety
  • District wants to increase resource officers at schools
  • Sheriff, superintendent says they'd rather law enforcement tote guns

Law enforcement and school officials are proposing a number of security improvements. They teamed up Thursday to talk about change.

The sheriff said they would each school campus with homeland security to check for vulnerable spots and harden school campuses.

Though officials say it's going to take help from lawmakers to get it done.

Tammy Schake, mother of a freshmen Flagler Palm Coast high school student, said she can't help but worry every time she brings her daughter to school.

"Every day that I drop her off, I wonder if I'm going to get to see her at the end of the day," Schake said. "You just trust that and hoping that they're taking the precautions that need to be done."

The district currently has six resource officers within the county -- now they want 13. Their goal is to have every public, private, and charter school covered.

"We do need additional funding from Tallahassee to accomplish this. Both the sheriff and our school board, all of us are looking to have 13. We feel like we have to make that happen for our students," said Jim Tager, Flagler Schools Superintendent.

They're hoping to enhance single point entries into schools, add fencing, new door and window locks for campus protection.

They also want one more psychologist and more social workers to help with mental health issues with the kids.

Plus officials said they want age appropriate active shooter training for all students.

The sheriff and superintendent said they'd much rather have trained current or former law enforcement toting the guns on campus.

"In our county we have many trained law enforcement officers and veterans living in our community, residents that already have significant training. I would support making (them) special deputies. We will kill any active shooter or attacker anywhere in this county," said Sheriff Rick Staly.

Schake is on the fence about who should be armed but knows she wants more security.

"I think ultimately whatever is going to help the students and the teachers and the safety at the school, I think that's paramount," Schake said.

The sheriff said they've stepped up patrol across all campuses. The district and law enforcement hope to make these improvements by the end of the school year, but that depends on funding.

The sheriff said all deputies are trained and will have access to their AR-15 guns if a tragedy happens.

He believes any school staff that would ultimately be approved to carry guns on campus will need psychological training first.