School board votes to fund officers

Published: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 03:32 PM.

“The safety of our children is of course all of our concern,” said board member Dewey Destin. “As a temporary measure and at this amount of money, I will support it.”

He said at this time he does not support spending another $3.5 million to continue the program in the future. Instead, he hopes the board can come up with a less expensive way to provide safety.

Before the resource officer vote, school board members unanimously approved asking staff to evaluate school security and come up with recommendations to improve it.

Thrush said she wished the board would wait to vote on funding for the resource officers until all options had been evaluated.

She said she felt Ashley had made the decision to place the officers without asking the school board first.

At times, she choked back tears as she talked about keeping schoolchildren safe and imagining the kids who died at Sandy Hook Elementary, but her concern about approving the measure was funding, which should go toward education first, she said.

“We cannot adequately fund existing education needs in our schools,” she said, citing cuts in guidance counselors and staffing specialists. “Despite this insufficient funding, our schools are still very safe.”

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