New Mexico: School District Permits Parents To Patrol School Grounds

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A district in southern New Mexico has put in place a new plan to make schools safer.

Gadsden Independent Schools is considering allowing parents to do security patrols at the schools in the coming weeks.  According to Superintendent Travis Dempsey, “the idea is that we just add more eyes to our campuses.” “You know, walk campus to make sure doors are locked, make sure gains are secured, make sure fences are, are, you know, up and secure, right.”

Even though it has the fourth most students in the state of New Mexico, the district only has two school resource officers to watch over its 23 campuses.

It is anticipated that the program will begin at the end of this month. Dempsey said that before any parent can patrol, they will have to pass a background check and get training. He anticipated that each parent would volunteer for a period of two hours.  Dempsey claims that parents’ presence at schools is designed merely to serve as a visual and auditory deterrent, and that no weapons would be allowed. Dempsey claims that two recent tragedies in the neighborhood sparked the concept.

He says educators and parents are enthusiastic about the initiative, but it’s unclear how many parents will really sign up to be patrol parents.