It's been a month since the tragic shooting in Connecticut. At Sandy Hook Elementary 26 people were killed - 20 children and 6 adults. In the hub city, the Lafayette Parish School Board approved a plan last week for extra security at five schools.
Lafayette High is one of five schools in-line for one of the new School Safety Officers. There are 2,500 students roaming the halls - and only one officer on duty. Principal Dr. Patrick Leonard says his school needs the extra set of eyes. "Basically at that point split the school in half. So, he's only got 50% of the area to cover where as one resource officer has 100% of the area."
Officer Don Thibeaux is the School Resource Officer for Lafayette High School. "Just in the area I left sometimes something normally happens. This guy we can keep moving around and keep the kids guessing where we are."
Assistant Superintendent Sandra Billeaudeau is the force behind the safety package plan. Billeaudeau says the safety officers will not be law enforcement. "They will work with the SRO's if there's an arrest offense. The SRO would arrest the student."
The school safety package includes installing cameras and alarms systems in all 42 schools. The school board delayed approving those items - because the budget wasn't an actual cost estimate. The board says the cameras and alarm systems will be approved once a solid budge is brought forth.
Billeaudeau says that's the school board's job to ensure the district gets its money's worth. "Is it the best system that works in conjunction with the police department? That's how it keeps our kids safe.")
N.P. Moss Prep, Acadiana High and Comeaux High schools will get a safety officer. Carencro High will get a resource officer, because similar to Lafayette High the school only has one.