DETROIT (WJBK) - A step to help ease financial stress on Detroit Public Schools is causing concern. Parents and students are reacting to the news that the district is cutting security guards at a handful of schools.
It's no secret DPS is in financial trouble. The Detroit News reports the district will begin making $26 million payments to the state in February and could be out of money as early as April.
DPS is the only K-12 system in the state with a sworn and dedicated police department for the district's 46,000 students and staff.
Michelle Zdrodowski, DPS Executive Director of Communications, says, "The security realignments were made based on a wide variety of data, including property and violent crime data, school incident reports, school-specific information, geographic location of the school in proximity to other security resources."
"Public safety is paramount and public safety starts at that front door, because once the kids get in there, during the course of the day, yes, something could happen, but you've got to have somebody there to make sure something doesn't get in there to endanger the children as well as the staff," says Tom Wilson.
He's a retired educator and taught at one of the schools rumored to be losing its security guard. Now, he's worried the extra burden will fall on the teachers.
"We're in the classroom. If something happens out there in the hallway, ... that classroom is your responsibility. You cannot leave out of there because something might jump off in the classroom while you're out there taking care of business that should've been handled by a security guard," says Wilson.
A rep from DPS says when it comes to their students and staff, safety is a top priority. Now they want to remind students they have had a long partnership with sworn DPD officers and DPD campus police and say those partnerships will continue. They say those officers will continue to make their regular patrols around Detroit schools.