Streetsboro mayor pitches armed guard security levy to protect school district
STREETSBORO, OH (WOIO) - Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska is pitching a school security levy as students, parents and faculty across the nation grapple with the ongoing threat of school shootings.
Broska wants to place two armed security guards inside each of the district's schools.
"I firmly believe (and I'm sure this is going to generate controversy) that we need to protect our children with armed guards at school, professional guards, well trained, well equipped dedicated protectors of our most valuable possessions," he wrote in a Facebook message Tuesday.
Broska projects the eight, uniformed guards would cost roughly $500,000 per year, requiring more than a one-mill levy to generate the necessary funds.
"Please don't start the 'we need to get rid of guns' argument, that is never going to happen instead we must protect our children the way that we protect objects and money and that is with a deterrent such as armed guards," Broska said in his Facebook post.
With the backing of the school district, the levy could be placed on the ballot by this fall.
In an interview with Cleveland19, Broska says he can't stand by and do nothing to try to stop school violence.
"We have security guards in cinemas now, at Browns games, at Cavs games, armed security where ever you go. But yet never armed security for our most precious thing, which is our kids," Broska said.
He said the cost to protect Streetsboro's children is worth it.
"A one mill levy, which would generate $456,000 a year would cost an average homeowner with a $200,000 home about $70 a year," he said.
Parents we spoke to support the idea.
"It's good to have them there, that's why they're there, to protect and serve the community. What's the difference between anywhere on the streets and in the school?" said Scott Clark.
Clark has three kids. His brother-in-law is actually a school resource officer.
"I don't want to hear this from any school across the country. Nobody deserves that, no parent deserves to go through that. But unfortunately that's the age we live in sadly. We do the best we can to protect them, but we can't be everywhere at once I guess," he said.
Mayor Broska says he knows this proposal might be only part of the solution.
"Putting armed guards in schools is not the be all, end all. We have to address the mental health issue, we have to address the bullying issue. We have to address the gun issue," he said.
According to Superintendent of Streetsboro Schools Michael Daulbaugh, the high school already has a full-time school resource officer provided by local police.
The Board of Education put out a statement saying it supports the idea of additional officers in schools, if that's what the levy entails.
The statement reads:
In a recent Facebook post, Streetsboro Mayor Glenn Broska expressed his concern about the acts of violence perpetrated on school campuses across the country. As a local solution, the Mayor proposed that the Board of Education pursue a "Security Levy," in order to pay for armed guards outside of the Streetsboro City School District's buildings. The Board of Education appreciates the Mayor's concern for the safety and wellbeing of the District's students. The Board of Education takes student safety seriously and is open to discussing the ways in which building security can be improved and will consider the Mayor's suggestions. In the interim, the Board of Education extends an invitation to the Mayor's Office to meet and discuss ways in which the City of Streetsboro's current resources may be used to improve the safety and security of District buildings. Additionally, The Board of Education would welcome and support the Mayor if he were to put a levy on the ballot for the purposes of providing additional police officers in our schools and other safety enhancements. The City of Ravenna recently passed a .25 percent income tax for additional safety forces which benefit the city and schools. If the Mayor were to put an issue on the ballot similar to the one in Ravenna, it could be a win for both our students and staff as well as the citizens of Streetsboro.
School officials are currently planning a public meeting in March.
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