The Miami-Dade County school district plans to spend up to $10 million over the next five years to install security monitoring systems in all schools.
It’s part of a larger, long-term effort to centralize and standardize safety measures in a school district the size of some states. The plan includes surveillance cameras, on-site screening of school visitors and a look at security staffing.
“You’re going to help our parents feel a lot more secure,” School Board Member Susie Castillo said at a committee meeting Wednesday.
The school board is expected to approve part of the plan – funding for security cameras – at their regular meeting on April 13.
The money would be spent only as needed. It would go towards buying, installing and maintaining digital surveillance cameras that could be monitored from a central command center led by Miami-Dade Schools Police, according to Chief Ian Moffett.
Already, there are 12,000 cameras in use across the school district. With the funding, Miami-Dade would add 7,000 more so that every school is monitored by 2020.
Also Wednesday, school board members considered a ban on hoverboards –the self-balancing toys that have alreday been out-lawed on dozens of college campuses, New York subways and all of Britain's streets.
School Board Member Raquel Regalado proposed banning hoverboards on all school district property, citing “violent altercations” sparked by the toys.
“These things are dangerous,” she said.
Just ask Miami Congressman Carlos Curbelo, who tried to ride his nephew’s hoverboard and wound up with his arm in a sling this past Christmas.
“Confirmed - the #hoverboard is for the kids,” he tweeted.
Regalado said she’s proposing the ban because a local principal was punched by a student when the principal tried to take away a hoverboard. She didn’t say where the incident occurred. She’s also concerned about the toys bursting into flames “at any point,” a well-documented problem caused by faulty batteries.
Miami-Dade school board membersare expected to take official action on the ban during their regular meeting on April 13.