Teachers credited with keeping students safe in Jackson County

School officials tell WAAY 31, even though they don’t have as many school resource officers as they’d like, they believe they might have something better.

Posted: Feb. 15, 2018 5:59 PM
Updated: Feb. 15, 2018 6:38 PM

Officials with Jackson County Schools tell WAAY 31 they currently only have one school resource officer to cover a total of 18 schools.

And though they say they have another officer on the way, some say it’s still not enough--especially after the school shooting in Florida.

So WAAY 31 wanted to see what other security measures they have in place to make up for the lack of officers.

And school officials tell WAAY 31, even though they don’t have as many school resource officers as they’d like, they believe they might have something better.

“When our kids come to school in the morning, they go home at night. That’s what we want," said Jackson County Schools Director of Student Services, Rhonda Wheeler.

According to Wheeler, doors are always locked, cameras are always on, and everyone has to be buzzed in at all Jackson County Schools.

However, some would say they’re missing out on one big security measure: a school resource officer on every campus.

And Wheeler agrees that’s very important.

“They’re priceless, they are. To have a uniformed officer on campus is going to deter a lot of people that might come into our schools, and I don’t think we will be satisfied in Jackson County until we have one resource officer at every school," Wheeler said.

However, Wheeler told WAAY 31, while they wait on that to happen, she believes they already have something in place that works just as well.

“The one best safety tool that we have is the love and the protective instinct of teachers in our schools," she said.

And parents seem to agree.

“They would go the extra mile for their kids. I really do believe that," Samantha Webb said.

Webb has a fifth grade son at Hollywood School and says she’s grateful for the way his teachers act all the time.

“They will make sure that you are who you say you are when you pick up your kid," Webb said.

And that’s what Wheeler says she loves about Jackson County teachers.

"The protective instinct that they have to do that—they don’t think of themselves," Wheeler said. "And that’s what’s golden.”

Teachers WAAY 31 talked with tell us taking care of their students and keeping them safe is just another part of their job, and they say they’re always happy to do it.

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