School board member Greene questions schools' prank security

A payroll voucher for the South Whidbey School District gave board member Damian Greene pause for concern. The item in question: $2,490 for the Island County Sheriff’s Office for “prank security,” which was especially high because of off-duty and overtime wages.

The contract was made to provide security during the last month of school in June. End-of-year pranks and vandalism have led the district to hire security patrols to deter any would-be hijinks, such as glue in the locker combination locks which happened a few years ago or a purloined dinosaur on the roof as happened years ago.

“Nothing happened this year,” said Assistant Superintendent Dan Poolman.

“It wasn’t that they were pranks, they were destructive,” he said of the glue.

The high cost for patrols by off-duty deputies was due to staffing limitations by the sheriff’s office. Island County Sheriff Mark Brown had requested county commissioners seek a law and justice levy to increase staffing, but that decision was recently squashed.

“They were having a hard time staffing it,” Poolman said. “If we can do it cheaper, I’m all for that.”

Next year, the board will ask to see the contract before it is approved and signed. The hope, Greene said, is to reduce the cost.

“We’ll, we’ve got to hear the plan first,” he said.

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