The Assistant Superintendent of Lafayette Parish Schools wants to increase school security. Wednesday she asked the board for cameras, alarm systems and six new school safety officers. In light of Friday's tragic shooting - her efforts have turned into a call for action.
"The community has to make a decision in my opinion whether we give our kids that safe and secure environment or we say we'll wait until something occurs," explains Billeaudeau.
LPSS Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau cuts no corners to get to the point. She says school safety begins with increased security.
"There are people in different camps that feel that police officers don't belong in schools. Yet again, with everything that's been going on around the country that we do need that."
Billeaudeau wants the district to add six school safety officers - at $55,000 each. Plus, install alarm systems and cameras in 42 schools. That could cost more than $1 million. "There's not only a cost with educating our children but also a cost to keep them safe and secure."
Billeaudeau says the safety officers would work with the resource officers. The plan is to assign them to high schools, but unlike a resource officer they will not be able to arrest a student. "Most of the incidents that take place on campus are not crimes. We need someone on campus to enforce the school rules the school polices."
Sgt. Mark Francis oversees the school resource officers in Lafayette Parish. Francis says the shooting in Connecticut is tragic. A school full of children demands extra security. "Free up the school resource officer so he could be investigating crime and doing some preventive methods to make sure the campus is safe."
"First and foremost the responsibility is to keep the children safe and secure. That is the principals charge and we have to help them." With the board's approval, school safety officers would be full time employees - and not police officers. N.P. Moss Prep and Carencro High would also get a safety officer.
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