EBR Parish behind on security as students return to school

As some of you get ready to send your kids back to school on Monday, many are wondering if anything has been done to make them safer.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 11:20 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:17 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. - As some of you get ready to send your kids back to school on Monday, many are wondering if anything has been done to make them safer. We’re learning today new security measures won’t come as quickly as we had hoped.

“So, we’re trying to be as proactive as possible. You know, school starts on Monday, so we’ve been having a lot of training and those things,” said Superintendent for the EBR School System, Dr. Sito Narcisse.

Earlier this year, the East Baton Rouge School Board approved hiring and place 26-armed resource officers on parish campuses.

“Our goal is that we’re going to be putting officers at middle and high schools. And then also with our elementary schools we have a contract with the sheriff’s office to get about 20 off-duty deputies to kind of help circulate,” Dr. Narcisse continued.

Dr. Narcisse says they hope to have the resource officers vetted and hired before the end of August.

“Well, you know, we approved it a little late in terms of when the approval happened. So, now we’re rushing to start the hiring process,” Dr. Narcisse added.

As a parent of two kids and candidate for the East Baton Rouge School Board, Nathan Rust tells me he’s not happy with how slow the parish has acted.

“If I go right now to my kids’ school, I can jump over a 3-foot fence and walk in the back door. That’s not something I’d love to publicize and talk about but it’s a big concern,” said Rust.

Nathan says he’s worried the parish’s plan was not well thought out and leaves our students vulnerable when they return to school.

“I think that this is another example of our school system and of our board putting the cart before the horse,” Rust added.

He says if he were a board member, he would be looking at how to get the security resources schools need as quickly as possible.

“And then devise a long-term strategy for how we want to do that. If that’s in-house SRO’s then that needs to be a program that’s well thought out and it needs to be rolled out diligently. Not at the last minute and not without a proper funding mechanism,” Rust explained.

As of today, those resource officers still need to be hired and receive at least 40 hours of training before they can be placed on campus. The school board says new security cameras have been installed in 7 to 10 schools this summer using money from the 2018 COPS grant.

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2022 WAFB. All rights reserved.