Lake County students in favor of armed guardians, survey says

A student led survey in Lake County found that most students are in favor of armed guardians on campus and a mental health curriculum. 

The survey was given out to students at each of the district’s eight high schools.  Now those findings are being presented to the School Board as they weigh new security measures. 

It has been a little more than three months since the Parkland school shooting and the debate about whether school personnel should be armed wages on. But now there is new data from Lake County High School students that says most students – 65 percent - are in favor of a guardian program. 

“The survey found that students felt that they would feel safer if more people on campus were armed,” Leesburg High School student Taylor Woods said. 

Woods is just one of 16 students that created and dispersed a student survey throughout all eight high schools in Lake County. The survey drew 1,730 participants.

“We felt that the students should have the most voice when it comes to the policies that are going to affect them,” Woods said. 

Besides their desire to have more armed guardians on campus, the student survey also addressed mental health; 80 percent would like to have an on-site psychologist. Twenty-five percent of students said they do not have someone to go to with an issue.

“We desperately need to look at that,” school board member Bill Mathias said.

School Board member Bill Mathias says the school system already has a program called HOPE that integrates mental health education. 

“That class isn’t really taken seriously,” Woods said. 

And will be just one of the issues that the school board discusses as they decide how to best protect students. 

“The challenge is absolutely going to be the money and which program is the most effective,” Mathias said. 

The June 1st deadline is fast approaching for Lake County school board members as they decide whether to apply for some of the state’s funding for additional resource officers and the guardian program.