In the wake of the Newtown, Conn., Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, where 27 people were brutally gunned down, a Florida mother is taking security for her child in to her own hands. Laura Lauria is paying an off-duty deputy to guard her daughter’s elementary school to the tune of $12,000, reports The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
The deal between Lauria and a deputy was struck up earlier this year, when she reportedly agreed to pay the Flagler County School District upfront for the armed security service that would begin January 14th and run for two months. The agreed upon fee that the deputy would receive is $32 per hour to guard her sixth grader’s school, Old Kings Elementary.
The angst-ridden Mom then reportedly made a verbal commitment to pay for the deputy for the rest of the year after the initial time frame, and school officials have no objections to Lauria’s generous offer. Superintendent Janet Valentine told the Daytona Beach News-Journal, “I don’t know how you say no to such a wonderful gesture,” she said.
The school district currently pays for four deputies at a cost of $286,572 to patrol their alternative, middle, and high schools. The Sheriff’s office and the city of Palm Coast divvy the bill for two additional deputies at two schools. Currently, all five of the county’s schools have one deputy guarding their premises with the exception of two being stationed at Flagler Palm Coast High School.
Elementary schools in the county, on the other hand, are normally protected by a roster of shift deputies who agree to patrol the schools in addition to balancing their own duties. As a result, the kids and staff at these schools don’t see the same deputy every day.
Since the Newtown/Sandy Hook shooting last December, where killer Adam Lanza forcibly entered an elementary school and brutally executed children and staff workers, school officials around the country are re-examining their own security systems.
Valentine is heralding Lauria’s generous offer to pay for an armed guard for her child’s school stating, “We really have had an outcry from the community that they would like to see [deputies] at all the schools and understandably so.” However, Sheriff Jim Manfre calls the gesture “just a Band-Aid solution,” adding, “I think it’s commendable that someone is willing to put up her own money to secure the children at the school, but I think it should be done at every school,” Manfre said.