BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The principal of a Boca Raton-area elementary school is being criticized for what is considered “over the top” security measures at a recent outdoor fall parade. The elementary school invited parents in two groups — those of students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, and then 3rd through 5th, to view their students march around a car loop wearing costumes.
The two parades were separated by 10 minutes.
Parents were required to sign a piece of paper and wear a pre-printed Avery label reading “fall parade.” No parent ever came into the school’s interior. The signatures were never checked against a master list.
In an example of what many parents say is school security gone too far, parents with students in both groups were forced to leave the car loop upon completion of the first parade, move from one side of a chain link fence to the other side, then come back in five minutes later — all while staffers and a uniformed school police officer remained inside the area talking. BocaNewsNow.com has photographs of the school police officer, the staff members, and the chain link fence which has minimal security value. We are withholding these photos to not publicly identify the school.
Parents contacting BocaNewsNow.com universally say post-Parkland security is great, but faux-security is insulting to parents. Many parents made an airport analogy, saying the “clear the area” approach is what would be expected in an airport after a security checkpoint failure, not in an elementary school’s driveway after 6-year-old children walk in a parade.
We are not identifying parent names as to not identify the specific school.
The Palm Beach County School District issued this statement to BocaNewsNow.com: “This was done because there was a lag where parents couldn’t be monitored so it was safer to have everyone check in to ensure security. She is within her rights to do keep her school campus safe.”
The statement raises questions about the effectiveness of the school’s uniformed police officer. We are investigating.
BocaNewsNow.com would like your stories of school security across Palm Beach County. Please email us at news (at) bocanewsnow.com.