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Jefferson Parish school leaders, parents discuss safety in schools

School board member Marion Bonura says often times, the challenges come in when rumors circulate, especially on social media and smart phones.

HARAHAN- For mother Aubrie Breaux, the images of recent school shootings in Florida and now in Maryland, makes her drive to get involved in the Jefferson Parish School District even stronger.

"The biggest concern right now should be safety and preventing these situations from becoming worse or more popular," Breaux said.

With her five-year-old daughter attending Leo E. Kerner Junior Elementary School, she would like to see more resource officers patrolling the hallways.

"We have put officers in the high schools and middle schools but we haven't done it to the elementary schools 'cause we don't see them as a bigger threat. And to me that's almost making them a bigger threat so, it's important to me that elementary schools get that resource officer and they also get to start that relationship that they'll go into middle and high school with the resource officers around," Breaux said.

Breaux and a handful of other parents voiced their concerns at Tuesday's school safety meeting held by Jefferson Parish School officials.

"We're talking about how we communicate when there is a threat. We talked about see something, say something," School Board Member Marion Bonura said.

The district's security and risk department coordinator presented parents with its plan. They also talked about making sure parents received information directly from their app or a credible news source.

School board member Marion Bonura says often times, the challenges come in when rumors circulate, especially on social media and smart phones.

"When they hear lockdown the children, they start texting their parents there's an intruder and there may not even be an intruder...it may just be a lockdown 'til we find out what's going on," Bonura said.

While disappointed in the low turnout, Breaux says she's happy to see the district and parents working together to protect children, hopefully lowering the threat and potentially preventing another tragedy from happening.

"It lets parents know that they have access to getting involved in what's going on in safety in their schools. That their voices can be heard," Breaux said.

The next meeting for the West Bank PAC is Wednesday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at the JPPSS Administration Building at 501 Manhattan Blvd. in Harvey.

The topic for the March meeting will be emergency preparedness in schools.

Parents interested in becoming their child's school representative can contact their child's principal or Director of Community Engagement Christie Gomez at christie.gomez@jppss.k12.la.us.

For more information regarding Jefferson Parish Public School System's risk and emergency management click here.

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