Local school asks parents to donate money for school police officer



Parents already pay for school registration, field trips and supplies, but now the principal of Audubon Park Elementary in Baldwin Park is asking for $16,000 in donations to pay for a police officer at the school.

Channel 9's Lori Brown spoke to parents on Monday who believe school security should be the district's responsibility.

After a gunman ripped apart the quiet town of Newtown, Conn., Katherine Henson decided if the district would not provide police officers in schools, parents like her should.

"It just takes one incident," said Henson. "Sandy Hook, that whole neighborhood was a perfect neighborhood. Nothing happened there. This is such a beautiful neighborhood. We have such a great school, and it just takes one time, one bad person."

In the school's email, it says it costs $32 an hour and $1,088 a week to fund an officer.

The principal said, "We hope that all parents can contribute."

"We're asked to pay for a lot of things now. They're always doing fundraisers for this or for that. You can't put a price on your kid's safety," said parent Carrie Baumgardner.

But some parents said the money could be better spent on a fence. Right now, there is nothing separating the students at recess from a street.

"I feel like someone is more likely to come up and snatch a kid than to shoot up a school. Fences help," said parent Michael Agranoff.

Agranoff said he thinks the email sends the wrong message.

"I feel like that's the district saying, regardless of how much we pay in taxes, they aren't going to keep my children safe. I pay my taxes, I expect my son to be safe," he said.

Channel 9's Lori Brown asked the school district leader if they support the fundraising effort, but a spokesman said, "Until the technical security team finishes its assessment, individual schools won't be raising money on their own to purchase the services of a law enforcement officer."