MODESTO (CBS13) — School security officers in one local district will be armed with batons and pepper spray following police department cuts to the school resource officer program.

Administrators with Modesto City Schools laid out the plan to parents, but not everyone is on board.

Parents and students have their reservations over the plan to have school security officers carrying batons, pepper spray and handcuffs at all Modesto City high schools.

The district lost all of its school resource officers in December after the police department had to cut the program due to low staffing. Now, it’s coming up with a new plan.

“This is the first opportunity we’ve had to bring a proposal to our board of education,” said district spokeswoman Becky Fortuna.

The schools have short-term campus supervisors in place, but want to hire seven school security officers and a supervisor for the 2015-16 school year. They’d all go through special training in use of force and de-escalation, and firearm training.

“I believe the school security officers will provide the students with safety that they need just as Modesto police officers provided to our students,” Fortuna said.

And though the officers will be carrying batons, pepper spray, and handcuffs, officials say it’s to protect students from outside factors.


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