Volusia Schools Celebrate First Day with Introduction of Guardian Program
Doors were opened, bells rang, and more than 63,000 thousand students returned to school in Volusia County for the 2019-2019 school year. New to schools this year is the presence of a Sheriff’s Deputy or School Guardian at every school.
Previously, middle and high school campuses had the presence of a Sheriff’s deputy, but the school guardian program is new to elementary schools.
According to the county website, “guardians do not have arrest authority and are employees of the school district. Guardians have undergone extensive background checks, drug testing, a psychological screening, 132 hours of training with the Sheriff’s office, 12 hours of diversity training, and another 12 hours of training on security in schools and strategies for dealing with students.”
The county has given the school guardians the task of being a visible part of the school campus to provide security and surveillance on the school campus, grounds, and parking lots. Guardians will carry a concealed weapon and wear a district polo that identifies them as a school guardian.
The county website describes the school guardian duties to include “responding to emergency situations, assisting administration and law enforcement with threat assessments, investigating suspicious activity, managing school access and assisting with traffic control.”
While deputies and school guardians are key to keeping students safe, Volusia County Schools ultimately urges parents and students to be the eyes and ears of their education community. A county-prepared school safety guide advises parents to:
- Give school officials accurate contact information so you can be reached in case of emergency.
- Talk to your child about your personal emergency notification arrangements.
- Monitor local media when serious conditions arise at school or in the community that might result in school evacuation, early dismissal, or school closing.
- Notify school officials if you see or hear of anything that could create a danger at school. If you prefer, call the Communication and Monitoring Center 24/7 at (386) 943- 7626.
More than anything, Volusia County Schools reiterates every school has a plan for scenarios that may arise, and with deputies and school guardians on the campuses of each school the 2018-2019 school year is off to a safe start.
Click HERE for a list of schools with the type of officer assigned.
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