Wake County Schools

Wake school board to consider guards for elementary schools

Posted January 18, 2013
Updated January 19, 2013

The Wake County Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday on a proposal to put one unarmed security guard at each elementary school in the district.

If approved, the measure would cost $835,000 for three months or nearly $2.4 million for a year for a contract with AlliedBarton Security Services. The company already provides security for some of the schools in the district.

Board Chairman Keith Sutton said the recommendation comes after a review of the district’s security policy in the wake of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six staff members lost their lives.

"We reviewed our practices and looked at security at several of our schools," he said. "We were particularly concerned after our review at some of the elementary schools."

Most of the high schools and some middle schools in Wake County have school resource officers who are armed.

Wake elementary schools don't have guards, but many keep doors locked to funnel visitors through one front door.

“You have to go in the front, and they have a glass partition where you see the secretary at the front desk, and she buzzes to let you in,” Parent Margaret Kline said about her child’s school.

But other parents say there are schools with a more open approach.

“You can walk right in at any point in the day,” Tara Kramling said about her child’s school.

Kline also has a child in a middle school that has an armed guard. She said the security policy took some getting used to.

“Once you’re used to it, it’s comforting,” she said. “I don’t think I’d be opposed to it simply because it’s one more layer of security.”

Kramling also said she thinks the extra security is a good idea. But she isn’t too worried about safety because she thinks Sandy Hook was an isolated incident.

“It was a tragedy in and of itself, but I don’t think it indicates a big, huge problem that every school should be on lockdown all the time,” she said.

Sutton said he is in favor of the proposal and expected it to pass easily.

19 Comments

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  • imtiredofit Jan 21, 7:53 p.m.

    What a completely idiotic waste of taxpayer money! If Wake County is going to put security guards in the schools then the least that should happen is that the guards are armed. Having a unarmed security person on site is about as secure as having one of these home security monitoring businesses "voice threatening" someone breaking into your home. This is such a stupid idea.

  • ConservativeVoter Jan 21, 7:24 p.m.

    An unarmed guard is a waste of money.

    It just gives the shooter one more undefended target.

    Unless they put in armed guards, don't put in any guards.

  • 1023productions Jan 21, 5:31 p.m.

    Good Afternoon All,
    Let me just say I am an Armed Security Officer here in NC I am also an UNARMED GUARD at a local HS in Chapel Hill NC. I have to say that being in the industry for at least 10 1/2 years that spending 2.4 million dollars a year for an UNARMED GUARD in a school is pointless. I would just like to add that I am an Certified UNARMED SECURITY GUARD INSTRUCTOR licensed by the NC DOJ. The only thing that an Unarmed Guard can do is call 911 and run just like the rest of the people. Most Unarmed Guard only make 8.50 - maybe 10.00 hr. I think that the Wake School Board should look at there options before signing a contract with Allied Barton Security Services... The other issue that I am seeing is that it is being advertised on live TV to the criminals that may want to do something like this that all Wake County Elementary schools or SCHOOLS will only have one UNARMED SECURITY GUARD. This is saying only one thing " Come Get Me I have no way to defend my self"

  • miseem Jan 21, 5:30 p.m.

    guards to do what, call 911? the Guards should have a 9mm with at least 16 rounds and an AR15 in the Gunsafe of the principals office with 2 mags.

    Right. That will work. If the guard doesn't get the bad guy with 16 shots and has to go to the principal's office, open a safe and return to where the bad guy was, but may not be now, how many more kids and teachers can be killed by someone who can fire one or more shots per second. That's assuming that the guard is not the first victim.

  • bombayrunner Jan 21, 5:17 p.m.

    an unarmed guard, that should deter any mental case with a 12guage, lets vote on it.

  • bombayrunner Jan 21, 5:15 p.m.

    guards to do what, call 911? the Guards should have a 9mm with at least 16 rounds and an AR15 in the Gunsafe of the principals office with 2 mags.

  • bombayrunner Jan 21, 5:13 p.m.

    finally something i agree with.

  • superman Jan 21, 5:01 p.m.

    computer trainer-- It was meant to be a joke. Even one person who is armed is not going to do any good. A person can go in a back door when a student exits. Someone goes out and the other person just walks right in. I wouldnt take a job knowing I would be the first person to be eliminated--no matter what it pays. The bottom line here--no much you can do to stop this kind of incident. Anything you do will just give you a false sense of security.

  • injameswetrust2003 Jan 21, 4:51 p.m.

    Either guards should be armed, or no guards. What a waste of taxpayer money. Whose idea was this?

  • computer trainer Jan 21, 4:27 p.m.

    Superman, unarmed self defense is not going to do much good if they perp has a gun. Just another body bag will be needed. These people are just not thinking. WHY would anyone think that is a good idea?

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