LEE COUNTY, Fla. - WINK News is learning the Lee County School district could hire someone to focus solely on the safety of your children and your taxpayer dollars. This comes in the wake of concerns that some schools aren't following all safety procedures
The new Director of Safety and Security would be in charge of a lot of things, from coordinating safety drills, to overseeing response to a major hurricane.
One school board member hopes this person would also have a team of people to help keep kids and schools safe.
Megan Pray home-schools her children. She doesn't feel they would be safe in Lee County schools. "I would worry about it in all aspects. They don't have too much control over what goes on, it seems like," she said.
School board member Don Armstrong tells WINK News he's been pushing for more safety measures in schools for years. "Some of the fire drills in the past we found weren't always being performed as timely as we'd like to see them," Armstrong said.
It's why he's in favor of hiring a Director of Safety and Security. According to a school board document, this person would enhance school security programs, make recommendations for alarms and cameras, and coordinate with school resource officers.
"I don't want the teachers to worry about the safety issues. That's not their job. We need them to worry about teaching. Let this new person come in. They'll worry about it, they'll figure out the safety issues."
Samantha Stepp feels her daughters are safe at Alva Elementary, but believes this position is needed.
The school district already has a school safety director, Patrick Hayhurst. School district spokesperson Amity Chandler tells WINK News:
The new District organizational chart was approved by the Board on June 24th. It is not unusual for the District to have changes to the org chart in advance of the fiscal year.
This org chart features some new positions or slight changes to existing positions to better support our students.
As you mentioned, one of which is a Director to oversee a new division for safety and security, another is a Director of Recruitment and Compensation to assist with finding the most talented candidates for our classrooms. The chart also includes another position to help operate student services, particularly assisting with the school counselor (formerly called guidance counselors) program (next year each school will have at least school counselor) (these are just three examples of changes to the org chart)
The school district continues to experience regular annual growth – about 1,700 students each year (which is the number of students in a high school) and we will need to continue annually review our organizational structure to support this growth.
This new security position has not yet been posted.