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I-Team: School Security Guards

Updated: Saturday, August 3, 2013 |
I-Team: School Security Guards story image
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Newschannel 3 I-Team continues to investigate how safe students are inside our local schools.

As we told you on Newschannel 3 Live at 5:00, we uncovered new information about the school security guards hired to protect our children that may surprise you.

As a result of our investigation, lawmakers are springing into action.

One might automatically assume, as we did, that there are training standards for the people who are protecting our children at school.

We found that's not the case, and as a result of our investigation, lawmakers are looking to fix what they see as a problem.

At Lakeview Middle School in 2010, we watched some pretty stiff training by law enforcement officers on how to respond to a potential emergency in a school, such as a gunman on campus.

However, there was something missing--school security guards, the ones on the front line of any major school emergency, weren't pictured.

As we looked into the issue, we found that there are no minimum training standards for those hired in as guards.

There's an interesting back story to the issue, we found--one of the likely reasons the topic has never been legislated is because the training, if mandated, might constitute an unfunded mandate to schools, which as we discussed in our bullying investigation, is illegal for lawmakers to do.

Critics say that yet again, on behalf of the youngest in our community, its a case of government getting in the way of government.

In Virginia, for example, there is a law professionalizing school security guards, with a minimum of 36 hours of training.

A handful of states around the country have similar standards.

The training teaches guards crisis management and response, student management, ways to deescalate student fights, and provides a way for new guards to shadow those who have experience.

In Grand Rapids, we actually found that district leaders strictly document 120 hours of training for their guards, even though the state doesn't require it.

Security Director Larry Johnson can't understand why at least four days of training can't be mandated to help these people.

When we took Johnson's concerns to the State Department of Education, we didn't get a ringing endorsement for new standards, but the belief that it would cost schools money, and that lawmakers would have to make the necessary change.

Ultimately, we took the issue to lawmakers, and Senator Tonya Schuitmaker said she would put a bill request in after our prompting, to set a new standard of 60 hours of training for the people who are taking care of our kids, in preparation for a worst-case scenario.

"I feel it's very important to have a well-trained security guard," Senator Schuitmaker said. "It's not a mandate to put security guards in every school, but if you are going to have that extra effort, then I think you want somebody who's properly trained."

As the discussion continues about safety, many of the experts tell us the issues the I-Team has uncovered, investigated, and addressed over the course of these investigations are some of the simple fixes that can be done to help our kids.
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Business News

Last Update on October 21, 2014 07:27 GMT

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's only one major economic report due today, but half a dozen U.S. companies are reporting quarterly financial results.

The National Association of Realtors releases its September report on existing home sales this morning.

Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Reynolds American and Verizon release their earnings before the market opens.

Discover Financial Services and Yahoo release their numbers after the market closes.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple says it sold 39.3 million iPhones in the last quarter, or 16 percent more than a year ago, which is a record for the quarter. That's partly due to excitement over new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models that Apple began selling last month.

The surge in iPhone sales helped the company beat Wall Street's expectations for the three months that ended Sept. 27. Overall, the company's profit rose more than 12 percent from a year ago, to $8.5 billion. Total sales also rose more than 12 percent, to $42.1 billion.

While iPhone sales were up, Apple also sold 13 percent fewer iPad tablets than it did a year ago. That follows an industry-wide decline in tablet sales. But the company reported lower iPad sales than analysts had expected.

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DALLAS (AP) -- U.S. airlines are raising base fares on many domestic flights even though they are getting a windfall from lower fuel prices.

Delta Air Lines raised fares on many U.S. routes by $4 per round last Thursday. FareCompare.com CEO Rick Seaney and J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker say other big airlines have matched them. Seaney says he's seen a few $6 and $10 increases, but mostly $4.

Delta has not responded for comment. United Airlines has confirmed matching the $4 increase. Seaney says American and Southwest also have raised prices.

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ATLANTA (AP) -- UPS says it is raising rates for a number of its shipping services by an average of 4.9 percent for 2015.

The Atlanta-based company says it is increasing rates for its ground, air, international, UPS Freight, and UPS air freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The increase goes into effect on Dec. 29.

UPS had previously announced some size-related pricing changes that will also take effect at the end of December.

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BEIJING (AP) -- China's economic growth waned to a five-year low of 7.3 percent last quarter, raising concerns of a spillover effect on the global economy but falling roughly in line with Chinese leaders' plans for a controlled slowdown.

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Employment, however, remained strong through the third quarter.

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TOKYO (AP) -- U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has urged Japan to be bolder in opening its markets to help reach a deal on a pan-Pacific trade agreement.

Pritzker, who is leading the Commerce Department's first trade mission to Japan in two decades, said U.S. and Japanese negotiators were closing the gap on trade in farm goods and vehicles but that there were still "tough issues" to work on.

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The head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie, announced the deal Monday at a conference of the Mortgage Bankers Association in Las Vegas. FHFA Director Mel Watt says the deal clarifies conditions in which banks could be required to buy back mortgages they sell to Fannie and Freddie for misrepresenting the loans' risks.

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The city says about 27,000 shutoffs were made between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30.

Most shutoffs were halted for several weeks during the summer to give customers a chance to enter payment plans.

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LAY'S-NEW FLAVOR

NEW YORK (AP) -- America is saying no to cappuccino flavored potato chips, but yes to "Wasabi Ginger." "Wasabi Ginger" has won this year's Frito-Lay contest that gives people a chance to create a new flavor.

Bags of the four finalist flavors hit store shelves in late July, and people have been going on Facebook and Twitter to vote for their favorites.

Some taste-testers described cappuccino flavored chips as "NASTY" and "gross." The other two finalists were "Mango Salsa" and "Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese."

Registered nurse Meneko Spigner McBeth of Deptford, New Jersey, came up with the wasabi ginger flavor, and she'll be awarded $1 million or a portion of a year in sales, whichever figure is greater.

The "Do Us A Flavor" promotion was held in other countries too, including Saudi Arabia, which voted for "Pizza" flavor and Serbia, which made "Pickled Cucumber" Number 1.

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