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Lake survey responders say "no" to armed school personnel

TAVARES – A district-wide survey found that the majority of Lake County Schools employees, students, parents and community members who responded do not support school personnel having access to a secured weapon on campus during school hours.

 

The survey link was posted on the district’s internal and external web sites and was shared on its social media pages. It asked participants to identify themselves as an employee, student, parent or community member. Then, it asked a single question about the “School Guardian” program: “Do you support school personnel, to include school administrators, ROTC instructors, current or former service members, and/or former law enforcement officers, who volunteer to participate in a “school guardian” program, to have access to a secured weapon on campus during school hours?”

 

A total of 2,673 people answered the question, and in every category the majority responded, “No.”

 

Here’s a breakdown of the responses:

 

Self-Identified as:

# of responses

Yes

No

Employee

    264

45.08%

54.92%

Student

    219

19.18%

80.82%

Parent

1,362

40.38%

59.62%

Community member

    828

48.67%       

51.33%

 

An earlier survey taken before Spring Break asked similar questions of school-based personnel. In that survey, when asked whether they support instructional personnel (only ROTC instructors, former military personal and former law enforcement officers) participating in a voluntary guardian program with access to a concealed firearm on campus, 52.75% respondents answered yes and 47.25% answered no.

 

The most recent survey opened April 5 and closed on April 20. A different survey is circulating among high school students, to determine their opinions on school safety matters. School Board members have said they will consider all stakeholder input before making any decision about the School Guardian program.

 

The School Guardian program is a result of a new school safety law that was passed in the aftermath of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people.