Wednesday, Oct 26, 2016
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Bedford moms raise funds to keep deputy

TEMPERANCE — The fund-raising campaign to retain a school resource officer in the Bedford Public Schools has achieved its immediate goal of collecting $15,000 by Saturday.

The organizers of the campaign, Amy Driehorst and Regina Whalen, said they planned to tell the Bedford Board of Education at its meeting Thursday night that they had collected $17,763.70. The money will go toward the $80,000 they want to collect annually for the next three years so the district won’t have to save money by eliminating one of the two Monroe County sheriff’s deputies assigned to the schools full time.

The two mothers with children in the district decided to start their fund-raiser last month after the school board approved dropping the deputy as a cost-cutting move to help close a projected operating deficit. They formed the nonprofit BSP CARES, which stands for Bedford Students Protected through Combining Area Resources for Educational Safety.

The short-term goal was to raise $15,000 by Saturday, the date by which the sheriff’s office must be notified if the resource officer was to be eliminated for next school year. The Bedford Community Foundation is acting as custodian of the funds at no cost. Mrs. Driehorst and Mrs. Whalen have been holding fund-raisers and soliciting contributions from businesses, groups, and individuals.

The resource officers, Randy Sehl and Randy Krupp, are extremely popular with parents, students, and school staff, and credited with preventing fights and bullying, curbing drug abuse, and serving as good role models.

The district, however, must eliminate its deficit, and has filed a plan with the Michigan Department of Education outlining its intended cost cuts. Under that plan, Deputy Sehl would be dropped from the schools and return to the sheriff’s office rotation, bumping another deputy with lower seniority.

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