Football coach to serve as new safety czar of schools
In an effort to make St. Charles Parish schools as safe as possible, the School Board recently decided to create a safety coordinator position for the district.
Stephen Robicheaux was appointed as the school district’s first Coordinator of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness during a special meeting on June 23.
Robicheaux said the position was suggested after a Safe Schools Audit and will require working with other parish agencies to make sure that the schools are as safe as possible and that teachers and staff know what to do in case of an emergency.
“I can go in and look at what the school system is doing and see if we’re where we need to be to keep our students safe,” Robicheaux said.
He will work with resource officers, the Sheriff’s Office and the fire departments doing background work to see what can be improved to help educate staff on different areas of alert.
“I think St. Charles Parish Schools does a great job of keeping our kids safe…the one thing we were kind of missing was a guy to tie this all together,” he said.
Dennis Naquin, president of the School Board, said he thinks the position is a great idea and will make schools safer.
“I think it’s a proactive position that is needed in the district,” Naquin said. “I would hate for us to look back on an incident that would have happened and we didn’t have control of that situation, so it’s my firm belief that we’re doing this for the safety and protection of not only our students but also for our staff people and the district as a whole.”
Naquin said that insurance costs were another factor in adding the position of safety coordinator to the district.
“We’re experiencing an increase in excess of $1 million per year in insurance with no stop in sight and I think those costs will continue to rise,” Naquin said. “This is a position that we feel can hold that down…that’s another aspect we have to look at - anything we can do to make our schools safe, we need to do it.”
Robicheaux is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and holds a degree in health and physical education. He was the football coach at Destrehan High School prior to being named as safety coordinator.
He said that being a football coach helped to prepare him for his new position.
“I think the role of football coach can prepare you for just about anything,” he said. “You wear many hats and I think the most important one is dedication to kids. I see a lot of hours being put in and dealing with kids and I’ve been doing that my whole life.”
Another perk that Robicheaux sees in the new job is a more steady schedule.
“It’s not only a job I’m really looking forward to, it’s a job that will allow me to do things with my family. Football is very time-consuming,” he said. “Now I will be able to stay with the system until hopefully all the way to the end of my career.”
Robicheaux has also been active for 10 years on the safe schools team for Destrehan High where he met monthly with administration, counselors and custodians to discuss safety and emergency drills.
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