Brevard County to hire security specialists for schools

The Brevard County School Board on Tuesday approved a plan to hire outside security specialists to protect the district's schools.  It is an alternative to another proposal, offered by Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey, to train and arm school employees.

The district decided against using current staff, but instead opted to hire from the outside. A security specialist would get paid around $30,000 a year, but would be trained by the Sheriff's Office to carry a gun in school.

Board members say the security specialists would have to pass the Sheriff-Trained On-Site Marshal Program, or S.T.O.M.P., which is similar training that Brevard County Sheriff's Office volunteers undergo -- including background checks, psychological screenings and polygraph tests.  

"I believe we need a proactive security team. It is not a compromise. It's a way to further harden our schools with another layer and I am in further support of that," said school board member John Craig.

There was mixed reaction from parents who were in attendance.

"We're going to have the wild, wild west at the schools!" said Quinisha Jacobs. 

"When implemented properly, these things should make students feel safe just like the military and police do," said Marie Rogerson.

The plan goes in effect on July 1.