Palm Beach County Parents and Police to DeSantis-‘Safety of Our Children is at Risk’
A group of parents and school police officers from Palm Beach County sent a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis detailing a list of severe and long-standing problems with policing in The School District of Palm Beach County.
When the letter was submitted to the DeSantis administration, the group asked for whistleblower status, so I won’t reveal any individuals involved in writing or sending the letter. Still, I’ve spoken to some of them, I know who they are, and I can confirm that it is a “group.” I’ve been told it’s “hundreds and hundreds” of police and parents, but I can’t guarantee the exact number.
The letter details the same problems that have gone unaddressed since last year. Not enough school police, low pay, lousy equipment, terrible training, and a fortune being paid to outside police officers to cover unprotected schools because the school board won’t admit they don’t know how to run a police department and cede control of the school police to one of the most respected sheriff’s in the state, Palm Beach County’s Ric Bradshaw.
Some group members were involved in last year’s letter to Governor DeSantis concerning the same issues.
Letter To DeSantis from Feb. 22, 2022
At the time I wrote,
The understaffed, underpaid school police allegedly signed an email to Governor Ron DeSantis requesting a merger between the School Police and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
I had no idea that publishing the letter would cause the Palm Beach County School Board Chair, Frank Barbieri, Jr., to explode and threaten the police.
Exclusive: School Board Chair curses out school police
I spoke to several school police officers who would only speak anonymously for fear of losing their jobs. Barbieri approached officers twice after the meeting and started yelling and cursing at them.
“After all I’ve F****** done for you, you F****** screw me like this. If any of you want to F****** go, just say so, and I’ll F******make it happen.”
The police demanded an apology for that outburst, and Barbieri did apologize.
The new letter that was sent to Gov. DeSantis in the last few days.
Five years and the School district still won’t do the right thing. Here are a few critical excerpts.
Unfortunately, the Palm Beach County School District Police Department after almost five years still cannot meet the Governor’s office order for placement of a Police Officer in every school including charter schools within Palm Beach County.
The School District is ignoring the safety concerns we have raised because of one thing and one thing only, “Control.”
The big ask-
We, the concerned parents and Police Officers of the Palm Beach County School District Police Department are pleading with you to remove the authority of student safety from the Palm Beach County School District and place that authority under Sheriff Bradshaw of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office is better equipped and trained to serve as the guardian of our children’s safety. We are tired of politics being played with the lives of our children.
Today, Florida Jolt published Hit List: DeSantis Rolls Out List of Woke Florida School Board Members as Targets for Challenge
The post lists all the counties where woke school board members will be targeted when they run for election. Palm Beach County is not on the list, and a few people texted and emailed me, bemoaning the omission.
I wouldn’t presume even to guess what the best governor in the country will do with our terrible school board. Maybe he’s saving the worst for last, I don’t know, but the children of Palm Beach County should be protected, and it’s time for the school board to put them first.
Bring Sheriff Bradshaw in and protect the children.
Florida Jolt emailed Barbieri and the entire school board and asked for a response or comment to the letter. I haven’t heard back from anyone.
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