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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senator: All 856 public schools have security guards & nurses under revised plan

Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera/Designated Education Secretary Yanira Raíces Vega

By The Star Staff

As the school year begins, everyone gets busy, parents must get their kids ready, teachers must have their classes well prepared, and kids must be ready to wake up early in the morning again. While some of a school’s most important assets are its teachers and its students, there are many other parties that play an important role in running the school properly; some of those assets include security guards, nurses and maintenance personnel. Without them, the health and safety of the youth could suffer, which is why all 856 public schools in Puerto Rico already have security guards, nurses and maintenance people assigned to them, said Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera. Following a recent meeting with designated Education Secretary Yanira Raíces Vega, the at-large senator also said that all public school campuses have surveillance cameras installed, certified and operating regularly.

“A lot has been accomplished in mere days before the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year, especially in the preparation to receive students …” Riquelme said. “For example, all 856 schools have a nurse assigned, as well as security staff to bring protection to students, teachers, directors and other school personnel. In this aspect we are confident that our children will be able to take their classes in a safe environment.”

After analyzing the security plans previously reviewed by Raíces Vega, the New Progressive Party senator said “I am very grateful to the secretary of the Department of Education for keeping us up to date in terms of what’s going on with the beginning of the school year.”

“Security is a highly important component in terms of school life, one of the most important ones in fact,” Riquelme Cabrera said. “Our staff is more than ready to support our students.”

During the meeting at the Capitol, the senator asked Raíces Vega if there was a possibility of creating, under an administrative order, a quick response code (QR code) with all the information contained in the Registry for Convicts of Sexual Crimes and Child Abuse, and placing the QR code at the entrance of every school.

“This is a security issue regarding minors,” Riquelme Cabrera said. “Parents or teachers, just by scanning the QR code, would be connected directly to the registry, where they would have access to data such as the name of the sex offender, an updated picture, physical description, type of offense committed and the municipality where they reside. All of this is very important.”

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