Gov. Rick Scott intends to beef up security for Jewish Day Schools in Florida as part of the next fiscal year’s recommended budget.
At Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton Monday, Scott made the announcement to include $1 million for school upgrades like alarm systems, bullet-proof glass, video cameras and fences.
“After Florida’s Jewish community received hateful threats last year, we saw the need to provide additional security so the children that attend Jewish Day Schools can learn without having to worry about feeling threatened,” Scott said, according to a press release. “While last year’s investment will make a huge difference, we must continue to do more.”
Scott’s recent Fighting for Florida’s Future budget included $654,000 for similar security enhancements.
Locally, the leader of one school, who asked to withhold both his and the school’s names for security reasons, said the funding request is “affirming” and “sends the right message.”
In March, a Jewish school in Davie was evacuated for the second time in about a week after receiving a telephone threat against the school, just one example of threats to schools across the country.
“I think it’s sad that in all schools that we have to focus our time and energy on the safety of our campus and the safety of our facilities,” the local school leader said. “It’s a sad reality of today’s world.”
He noted that their school has partnerships with local law enforcement to help review policies and safety drills. His school has not been targeted, and he wants to keep it that way.
“We’ve been fortunate,” he said. “We feel very safe in our community.”