In response to the Forest High School shooting, there will now be a resource officer in every Marion County school.
The policy went into effect Monday as students returned to school for the first time since the shooting.
State law in response to the Parkland shooting will require a resource officer at every public school starting next year, but the shooting at Forest High School moved up that timeline in Marion County.
Even elementary schools, like Reddick-Collier Elementary School, now have a resource officer.
The district has more than 30 elementary schools and is working with both the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Alachua Police Department to get them covered.
“If you go into many of our schools today, it will be a normal school day,” said Kevin Christian, Marion County Public Schools Public Relations Officer. “They had an experience on Friday that perhaps wasn’t on their campus, but nevertheless impacted everything they did on Friday. So, today is a normal day, there’s another resource officer, there’s another person in uniform on campus, but for the most part it’s just a normal day.”
After the Parkland shooting, the district embraced special active shooter training for all schools and all school district employees.
The district is still working out the funding for the new school resource officers. The local option sales tax might cover the cost of equipment, but they’ll also have to deal with the ongoing costs of personnel.