Brevard Co. parents patrol fenceless school themselves



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Some Brevard County parents are so unhappy with the security at their children's school they're now patrolling it themselves.

Parents said Harbor City Elementary in Melbourne badly needs a fence.

The Brevard County school district said it doesn't have the money for security upgrades.

Two volunteers monitor the campus themselves in fluorescent yellow vests.

Jeff Jaecklein started what they call POPS, Parents On Patrol, right after the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last year.

He noticed his children's school has very little fencing and can be accessed from almost any direction.

"All we know is we gotta be able to watch the school and see who comes and comes out of the school," Jaecklein said.

Jaecklein said they've asked the district to fence off the school.

The district said there's no money for it and said it has to use the money for things like roofs and air conditioners first.

"It's all wide open, 18-wheelers could drive through here," Jaecklein said.

The school board has no standard policy for fencing or security on campus.

Many of the schools that have fencing had funding help from parents.

"We're really concerned about the kids here, there's not enough security," said grandmother Vanessa Wright.

Other parents and grandparents said they didn't know the men in vests were volunteers, but they like the idea someone is watching, although many of them would like to see more fencing, too.

"Without money, we think we've done as much as we can do," Jaecklein said.

The district said it's been working on a standard policy for school safety that could include fencing and security cameras.

Next year, there's a vote to raise the sales tax by a half cent that, if passed, could bring in additional money to pay for security.