Detroit schools look to hire amid shortage of security guards

Schools in Detroit are dealing with another critical staff shortage and this time, it’s not teachers.

DETROIT – Schools in Detroit are dealing with another critical staff shortage and this time, it’s not teachers.

School security guards are in short supply and the Detroit Public Schools Community District is actively working to address the issue.

“It’s a great opportunity for those that want to make a difference in our schools and support our students,” said superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

Vitti is placing a call for school security guards for his district.

“When you think of security guards, we sometimes have a negative connotation to that, but security guards, I think the real effective ones actually prevent the negative things from happening by building positive relationships with students,” Vitti said.

That’s why the district is hosting a career fair on Saturday. The district is looking to fill at least 40 positions at $16 an hour.

Lakia Wilson-Lumpkins, with Detroit Federation of Teachers, said there’s a great need for security guards.

“We need as much help as we can get,” Wilson-Lumpkins said. “All hands on deck. This is a clarion call.”

Vitti said the guards will greet students, secure the doors and hallways, but that’s not all.

“In some regards, it’s our COVID safety, symptoms check, temperature check, walking hallways, being in the cafeteria, dismissal and on the negative side, sometimes it might be breaking up a fight,” Vitti said.

The superintendent said there have been multiple fights in at least two of the high schools already, but Vitti said it’s not due to lack of security.

“I would say I’m most worried about East English Village and we’re keeping our eye on Mumford, but nothing that I would say I’m overly concerned about,” Vitti said. “The issues that have happened at East English Village are not just about a shortage of security guards, there are some others I think, pent up issues. If you’re paying attention to the east side, we have a rise in violence on the east side and that’s naturally spilling into East English Village as a high school.”

More information on Saturday’s job fair can be found here.

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