Safety Lawsuit Refiled Against Duval Public Schools For Arming 'Assistants'

Dec 14, 2018

A lawsuit has been refiled against the Duval County Public Schools district for hiring armed staffers to patrol school grounds after the first version was rejected on technical grounds.

Some Jacksonville parents joined the League of Women Voters in filing the suit, which claims the School Safety Assistant program the school board adopted in April is dangerous and illegal.

Related: Read The Lawsuit

“The program not only puts thousands of students at risk - and especially students of color and students with disabilities - but it also violates Florida law,”  the League’s Patricia Brigham said after the first version of the suit was filed last month.

The assistants are not police officers, but they undergo 200 hours of training with the Jacksonville’s Sheriff’s Office.

According to the suit, Florida law prohibits anyone who is not a sworn law enforcement officer to possess guns on school property.

"The League of Women Voters of Florida has long advocated against allowing unqualified citizens to carry firearms on school campuses," said Brigham in November. 

A Duval County Public Schools representative said in November the district can’t comment on pending litigation.

On Monday, Dec. 17, WJCT News invites listeners to call in and discuss the lawsuit on First Coast Connect at 9 a.m. The show airs live on 89.9 FM and streams at WJCT.org.  Brigham is among the scheduled guests, and we'll also hear from former Duval Public Schools Board member Scott Shine.