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Broward County, Fla., votes to put armed guards in every school

By
Ray Downs
The Broward County School Board voted to put extra security in the school four months after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. File Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI
The Broward County School Board voted to put extra security in the school four months after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. File Photo by Gary Rothstein/UPI | License Photo

June 27 (UPI) -- The school board of Broward County, Fla., voted to put an armed guard on every campus in the district with the exception of charter schools.

The Tuesday decision comes nearly five months after a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which was the impetus for a state law that required extra security in the state's public schools.

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The board's decision specifies how the Broward County School Board will comply with the law and provides more details on funding, which board member Robin Bartleman said wasn't outlined in the state law.

"Honestly, it's like putting Paul Blart the mall cop in a school with a gun," she said, according to the Miami Herald. "I'd like to thank this board and staff for making it palatable."

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Although most schools in the district already have armed police officers, the decision calls for at least one extra armed security guard. The school board will need to hire at least 80 guards to have one at every school. The positions require at least two years of law enforcement or military experience and will pay between $25,000 and $33,000 per year, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

There is still debate on whether the armed guards' weapon will be concealed.

"Our first priority is getting people hired. We've got to do the appropriate background and psychological tests and make sure they have uniforms," Superintendent Robert Runcie said said.

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To help pay for the initiative, the board also voted to put a referendum on a ballot in August to increase property taxes. Homeowners with a home valued at the average cost for a house in the area -- $239,000 -- would pay $119 more in the first year.

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