Senate Bill 7026, passed in 2018 after the tragedy in Parkland, FL, established the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program. Volusia County Schools opted in to comply with the mandates of the new legislation and to bolster its SRO/SRD program. By the first day of the 2018-2019 school year (August 13, 2018) 47 school guardians have been assigned to the district’s elementary schools.
What’s a School Guardian?
The difference between a law enforcement officer and school guardian is that guardians do not have arrest authority and are employees of the school district. Guardians have undergone extensive background checks, drug testing, a psychological screening, 132 hours of training with the Sheriff’s office, 12 hours of diversity training, and another 12 hours of training on security in schools and strategies for dealing with students. Guardians will carry a concealed weapon and wear a district polo that identifies him/her as a guardian.
School Guardian Job Role
School guardians will be very visible, providing security and surveillance to school campuses, parking lots and grounds. Duties include responding to emergency situations, assisting administration and law enforcement with threat assessments, investigating suspicious activity, managing school access and assisting with traffic control. It is also very important that school guardians build relationships and trust with students, parents and staff, as well as communicate about and respond to security-related concerns and issues.
Mental Health and Wellness Programs
Volusia County Schools has partnered with the Sandy Hook Promise to bring age-appropriate, research-based programs to our schools:
Teaches youth how to recognize warning signs and signals. Especially in social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and "Say Something" to a trusted adult before it's too late.
Start With HelloTM
Teaches children, teens and young adults how to be more socially inclusive and connected to one another.
Safety Assessment & InterventionTM
Teaches adults in schools how to identify, assess and respond to threats of violence or at-risk behavior before a tragedy takes place. The program not only addresses the threat itself, but also helps identify and treat the underlying issue in a youth’s life that led to him/her making a threat.
SOS Signs of SuicideTM
Teaches youth and adults about the warning signs of depression and suicide, and action steps to get help when concerned about themselves or a friend before a tragedy occurs.