BocaWatch commentator at large Jack McWalter investigated what’s going on and more importantly what’s NOT going on when it comes to school safety at Boca’s public schools.

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Born and raised in Chicago and a graduate of Loyola University. I went on to study at Chicago Kent Law, part of Illinois Institute of Technology, but stopped short to serve in the US Army for 3 years. Moved to Boca Raton with my family 35 years ago and began a 32 year career with IBM as Sales Executive and Business Director Manager with the Manufacturing Technology Center - now the Don Estridge School. Volunteering is in my blood, I especially enjoy working to raise money for children with special needs at the Jewish Community Center and look back fondly on the years spent coaching soccer and supporting Boca Jets football. My two children attended Addison Mizner, St Andrew's, Boca High, and are both graduates of University of Florida. If I sound like a fighter I am, beat cancer three times and I support all survivors who face that same challenge.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, these people are teaching your children and are expected to give their lives to protect them and you don’t want them to have an increase in salary when the cost of living in south Florida is so high. Shame on you. I don’t even have kids but I totally get that you have to pay reasonable salaries to teachers if you expect to have teachers to teach your kids.

  2. The Parent Teacher Student Association at Boca High have allocated and used their raised funds to address safety in the schools. Since February, safety and security initiatives implemented include:

    Additional training for administration and teachers (Crisis response, Mental Health Awareness, Drills by Boca PD, etc.)
    Reviewed/revamped our Crisis Response Plan
    Added additional staff to help secure buildings
    During arrival and dismissal all points of entry have an administrator supervising
    One point of entry following arrival
    All exterior doors and classroom doors are locked at all times
    Added additional staff to Crisis Response Team
    Created a Threat Assessment Team
    Revised Permission to Leave (PTL) policy
    All staff must wear ID badges (money from PTSA used to purchase lanyards and clear plastic sleeves for ID)
    All students will wear ID badges next year (money from PTSA used to purchase machine and lanyards)
    Will have a Safe School Ambassador program
    Purchased a golf cart for security personnel (money from PTSA used to purchase)
    Purchased Security and Police Aide shirts for personnel (money from PTSA used to purchase)
    Purchased rain jackets for admin so we are easily identifiable at games in case of rain (money from PTSA used to purchase)
    Equipment for police office (money from PTSA used to purchase)
    Purchased two additional metal detectors (money from PTSA, SAC and school used to purchase)
    Unfortunately, the reality is the school district is too big to be efficient and all past attempts to create “city” schools or even divide the county (north/south) have failed. This problem has been going on for decade. Its nothing new that our taxes account for 10% of taxes raised for PBCSD. Exactly why they will never allow us to create Boca City schools. Parents/Grandparents concerned community members have always made up the difference in the lack of funds for our childrens’ education. THAT IS WHAT MAKES OUR BOCA SCHOOLS SO SPECIAL. Support your schools PTA/PTSA.

  3. Jack did not say that…in fact he said he thought they should be paid more.
    He said that the tax they want to pass is for security AND employee pay increases.
    He said it should only be for one thing…SECURITY…and do the pay increases as a
    separate issue, so we know how much we are really getting for security purposes.
    I agree 100% with him. The proposed special tax should be ONLY for security purposes,
    so we know it will be spent for that purpose. Then there should be a separate tax to increase
    teacher pay which is horrendous and shameful. Last I heard, FL was the 4th lowest for teacher
    salary of ALL 50 states! How can we expect our kids to get a good education if we cannot attract
    quality teachers. How can we expect good teachers to work for nothing? (And spend the little
    they make on supplies for their students!)

  4. Jack great video way to keep this issue in the forefront way to keep the pressure on.Teachers should make 100k min a year , after all they are teaching and mentoring our children,it would attract the best of the best our children deserve it.My youngest son goes to Advent Lutheran within one week after Parkland we had a private security guard hired the cost is minimal. I don’t know how they can put a price tag on our childrens safety, this issue should move to the top of the budget and a plan needs to be implemented before the next school year begins. Jack I was at the meeting you were and it sure sounded like they’re going to take from the teachers to subsidize security, that is a crime.

    As far as the lottery I’ve been saying for years that 60 minutes needs to do an investigation on the Florida lottery. We were told that it would increase teachers salaries instead they took the existing money away and merely replaced it with a portion of the lottery money, that’s the way I understand it. I’m with you where does all that money go?

  5. Janet, you don’t understand. Watch my video again. What I am saying is that school security is having someone in the school with a shotgun or AR 15 that can respond to a madman within 15 to 30 seconds to save the lives of kids and teachers. Nobody talks about how many teachers are killed along with the kids. I want guards that know they may be killed also but willing to take that responsibility on. Bd of Ed resource officiers are not in that class. I talked to several private guards and they are serious. Ex, Boca Christian has a retired cop that takes his job seriously every minute on campus. Go to JCC and see real security. Go to boca 11 schools and see just show . We are dealing with a BOE that lacks a moral compass. They will spend millions on a palace and highest paid employees on earth but won’t hire 75 more guards unless we pass on school property tax increase as in 4x. I view this bd as morality corrupt and we need a change. Speaking of corrupt we need a change in the boca city council on aug 28th to replace a mayor whom has been indicted for 4 felonies. Remember her Chris she told you not her job to fix overcrowding. Now we got a city council saying not our job to fix school security. We need change . Both Al Zacaro and Kathy Cottrell are focusing on this issue big time. God help us if something happens.

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