HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. -- Friday is the first day of school for students in Hillsborough County and one of the biggest things probably weighing heavy on parents' minds is, will their kids be safe at school?
- First day of school for Hillsborough County students
- Security measures in place to keep kids safe
- Back-to-school information
Staff and personnel have been working hard this summer to put enhanced security measures in place. Florida law requires an armed and trained first responder at every public school.
Hillsborough County started the summer with 119 officers and supervisors. More than 2/3 are current or former law enforcement and more than 1/3 are current or former military. They are led by former Tampa Police Department second in command.
School resource officers we've talked to say they've gone through extensive active shooter training with the sheriff's office and internally with the district and will do everything in their power to keep students safe.
"I want to ensure our parents that we are taking extra precautions today and all throughout the year as we move forward. We've been securing our campuses more strongly this year. We have security officers on all elementary, middle, and high school campuses," Superintendent Jeff Eakins said.
Officials said officers and much of the staff has also received mental health training. The district said it has recieved an extra $6 million from the state for school security.
However, the district is also facing major funding challenges for school air conditioning. Some of the buildings will be pretty hot until repairs and replacements are done.
Other changes this year is school start times for elementary schools, which will now start at 7:40 a.m.
The change is to allow bus drivers to have more time to complete their routes so students aren't late to class and to overall improve student health and performance.