A Mom in Flagler County, FL, has taken the initiative and plunked down a whopping check for the Flagler County School District so as to enable her child's elementary school to have its own deputy sheriff to patrol the school campus, full-time. Laura Lauria, whose child attends Old Kings Elementary School in Flagler Beach, donated the personal proceeds so that the campus can be safely secured by law enforcement presence.
The check's total amount is estimated to be enough to cover two full months of police presence on school grounds. Given the horrific events which took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, on 14 December 2012, and the most recent school shooting at Lone Star College in Harris County, TX yesterday, compensation for any duration of school days to afford the kids' security is more than adequate.
"When it became apparent that funding was the primary obstacle in achieving greater security, Mrs. Lauria made the decision to donate the funds that were necessary to provide a trained, off-duty Sheriff's deputy at Old Kings Elementary," according to a statement released by Lauria's legal team. "Mrs. Lauria sought the approval of several high-ranking school officials before making this donation and worked in conjunction with the proper school and law enforcement authorities every step of the way."
Lauria was able to proffer the funds via her police supply company, Police Services Inc., a private manufacturer of safety-minded products. Assertions were made clear that Lauria has no ties to, positions held in, or association responsibilities to any Flagler County schools.
"The donation was never intended to become public knowledge and was only made with the intention of giving back to the community," the statement reads. "Laura Lauria and Police Services, Inc. are both ardent supporters of the Flagler County school system and will continue to respect any decisions made by the School Board regarding the implementation of additional security."
In the context of the current climate within federal circles and the hackneyed nature of government intertwinings which notoriously hamper progress, it is reassuring and refreshing to witness an ordinary citizen step up, recognize a need, realize the ability to fill that need...then follow through with tangible results. Ms. Lauria, a business owner of modest proportions, merely regarded her child's safety, as any parent would. With that said, Laurie conducted her own research, set out the precursory plan of action, contacted the School District and the Flagler County Sheriff's Office, and solidified her end goal: Financial donation for the express purpose of having a full-time deputy sheriff at Old Kings Elementary where her daughter attends.
Both the School Superintendent and the Flagler County Sheriff concurred: If government levels can not afford and/or enact legislation promptly enough to secure our schools, then private endowments are substantively useful and graciously appreciated. Said to be the first of its kind among the entities involved, such a donation is unorthodox yet wholly resourceful. Collective sentiment among parents is steadfastly in favor of ubiquitous law enforcement officers' presence on our school premises.
Flagler School Superintendent Janet Valentine confirmed Ms. Lauria's intention to fund until the conclusion of this school year. "We want people to come forward and solve problems," said Valentine. "It's the power of one. We appreciate that." School District officials were considering assigning two deputies, one each at two other elementary schools, yet are hindered as costs to do so are prohibitive.
"All we are doing is providing security for one school," Manfre commented. "I think it is commendable. I think what she is doing is important and it fills the gap," he explained.
Manfre said the donation has inspired the sheriff's office and the school district to locate funding to assign deputies in all five elementary schools. He said he is confident such a goal will be met, even if for at least next year.
Flagler County deputies were pulled from its schools in 2005, stemming from budget constraints. However, the agency staffs six schools with one deputy for each of its high- and middle-school facilities.
Perhaps this Old Kings model will transcend barriers and jurisdictions and set a new trend: Uniquely, public schools...privately funded. Great prompting for school officials to take note: Parents want changes made relating to safety and security of their children...and are more-than-willing to participate and contribute.
How do you opine on this story and its inherent implications? Will such a gratuitous act set in motion multi-level governments' budgetary considerations whereby tax dollars are allocated elsewhere stemming from such private endowments? Any propriety factors to consider?
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