While the state is providing money and training for teachers in Florida to be able to carry weapons, it’s more complicated than that.
“The local sheriff, the school board and superintendent all need to be in an agreement that that is what they want to do,” said Brooks Rumenik, director of the state’s Office of Safe Schools.
Rumenik was the keynote speaker at a Tuesday seminar at FAMU focusing on providing a safe climate for students, faculty and staff. The Office of School Safety is housed in the state Department of Education.
The state’s primary focus is providing a safe school climate for students to succeed academically, because when students feel safe in a school setting they are more likely to thrive, according to Rumenik.
“Because of the work that I do and have done for many years, I feel like it is very important to focus on prevention, but when I talk about prevention I mean going way back so if we can establish positive school climates where students feel safe, supported, and valued we know research shows that is going to result in less problematic issues that the students are going to be expressing, when we tackle the small things then it alleviates the problems for the big things very often whatever we can do very front in it usually is going to pay off in the long run,” said Rumenik.
Zedrina Jackson, a fourth year English education major, was one of the students to hosting this seminar and felt that students can make a difference.
“Even if we are not a part of the education system we should all be involved in improving the quality of our schools for our family, future children, and our community as a whole,” Jackson said.
Lyric Campbell, a fourth year English education major, helped Jackson present the seminar. She too felt a need to let students at FAMU know that they can be safe my following procedures and guidelines given by Rumenik.
“This is an important event for students seeking careers in education, since topics discussed include measures to create a safe environment and how to execute drills,” said Campbell.
“Since the 2014 shooting at Strozier Library at FSU there is a need for students to know how to handle situations as such. Communicating between the students and school is vital for safety precautions and to avoid future tragedies,” Rumenik said.
“One thing that I have seen and been in favor of is the increase in communication and the way that the universities are communicating with their students and their faculty, I think the biggest thing for all of us is to be more aware of our surroundings, to be more sensitive to the people we are interacting with or not interacting with, be in tune with noticing things that is not normal, why is that person acting that way or who might not be able to tell and inform those are things we can do to protect ourselves in these larger settings,” said Rumenik.