Schools stepping up efforts to protect your kids

"With my daughter being there I feel very safe," said Edwards.

LEXINGTON (WACH) -- Bianca Edwards' daughter attends Lexington One's Saxe Gotha Elementary School.

Last year the school was part of a pilot program that brought school resource officers to the school.

Edwards says with everything that's happening in schools she's thrilled to have another layer of protection for her child.

"With my daughter being there I feel very safe," said Edwards.

The program started last school year and has expanded to every elementary school in the district.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says off duty deputies spend several hours at the school five days a week and the district pays for the officers.

Saxe Gotha Principal Elizabeth Houck says she never thought an officer would be needed in an elementary school but the presence of an officer makes a positive impact on the kids

"Times are changing and there are situations that do come up where it is necessary for someone to be here with us," said Houck.

"To have the officers there so the young children can learn that they're there to help protect them and there not there always because something bad has happened," said Metts.

Metts says his department efforts started the states first S-R-O program putting deputies in Airport and B-C high schools.

Metts say the deputiesâ?? presence at schools deters crime but they're not the solution.

He says the design and renovation of schools is key to protecting students.

Edwards she's looking forward to the day every school has officers

"I'd like to see open to close at least until the students are all gone, you know even with the after school program and stuff like that because the doors are open," concludes Edwards.

Several measures circulated around the State House requesting funding for officers in elementary schools, however they didn't pass.