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Board approves armed guards for Hillsborough elementary schools | News

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Board approves armed guards for Hillsborough elementary schools
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Hillsborough County, Florida-- There's more than 140 elementary schools in the Hillsborough County school district. Yet, only 19 of them have an armed guard on campus, even though there's a school resource officer at every middle and high school.

Dozens of principals and parents alike pleaded to the school board Wednesday for this to change. Some even got emotional as they stressed that safety on campuses should be the top priority.

And in a 4-3 vote, the school board passed to allow armed guards on all elementary school campuses in Hillsborough County. 

"I speak in front of you to advocate that we need, not want, this help," said one Hillsborough County elementary school principal.

"Our zip code is below the average crime report, below the national crime report, so was Newtown, Connecticut,"

Referencing the horrible attack at Newtown, CT's Sandy Hook Elementary, dozens of principals say when it comes to protecting their youngest and most vulnerable, the answer is simple.

"Heroes always beat evil, and we need one more extra hero on our campus," said a principal. 

"It would increase comfort of safety and security," said another.

But those heroes will cost the district $4.5 million.

The district previously said they would jump-start the program with 10 sheriff's deputies, but they'll eventually be replaced, and the school district would hire armed guards in police-style uniforms.

Some argued this wasn't the solution when it comes to tackling safety.

"When it comes to school shootings, security officers rarely do anything," says Michael Pheneger, President of Florida ACLU.

Now these security officers will not be immediately placed in the schools. This is a plan that could take up to four years.


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