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Leaders prepare for first day of school in Orange County

Sheriff Jerry Demings, other officials hold news conference

Americans have been fascinated with teachers who cross the line and have sexual relationships with their students. This trend has been a growing concern within the education system, beginning with the infamous Mary Kay Letourneau case in 1995.
Americans have been fascinated with teachers who cross the line and have sexual relationships with their students. This trend has been a growing concern within the education system, beginning with the infamous Mary Kay Letourneau case in 1995. (SXC)

ORLANDO, Fla. – School and county leaders held a news conference Friday to discuss Orange County's first day of school.

School Board Chairman Bill Sublette, other school board members, Orange County Schools Superintendent Barbara Jenkins, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, and other law enforcement officials briefed the media about the first day of school with an emphasis on safety.

"It takes our entire community to help keep our children safe," said Jenkins.

On Monday, more than 200,000 students will be returning to school with many of them walking to class.

"Talk about safety, pedestrian safety," said Jenkins.  "You don't cross in the middle of the street.  You get to the crossing guard and to the crosswalk."

For those taking the bus, an emphasis was added to make sure students ride the bus during the first week of school.

This school year, more than 70,000 laptops will be issued to every high school student and students in six middle schools and seven elementary schools.

With expensive equipment in the hands of students, Jenkins offered a warning to potential crooks.

"They're encrypted, they're engraved and they are virtually theft proof," she said.

When classes begin on Monday, Orange County Sheriff Demings also said extra patrols will be out making sure drivers follow the rules of the road.

"We're here to start the school year in a wonderful way, a safe way," said Demings.

Volusia County also heads back to school on Monday. Seven other Central Florida counties returned to class earlier this week.