PARKLAND, Fla. -- Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will only be allowed to carry a clear backpack when they return from spring break the first week of April. The backpacks will be provided to them, at no cost, according to the Broward County Superintendent of Schools.
Students will also notice a few other updates to safety and security measures at the school.
In addition to clear backpacks, students will be issued a student identification badge and Florida Highway Patrol officers will be guarding the school, the site of the February 14th shooting that killed 17 students and educators.
The district says they are also exploring options for metal detectors at entrances of the school.
“Over the past several weeks, we have received many inquiries regarding our District’s efforts to fortify the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus and expand safety protocols at the school,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said in a letter sent to Stoneman Douglas families. “We want to assure you that the safety and security of our students and employees remain our highest priorities.’’
The Broward school district has put specific safety and security measures in place, including:
- All safety protocols for routine school operations are being reinforced at all schools. This includes requiring students and staff to wear identification badges while on campus; locking classroom doors at all times; locking and securing exterior doors and gates throughout the day; being vigilant in monitoring the campus throughout the day; and conducting emergency preparedness and response training for faculty, staff and students on a regular basis.
- The District actively conducts code red training, which is the foundation of active-shooter training, throughout the school year at all schools. We are working with law enforcement agencies to evaluate the protocols and frequency of code red training and drills for all schools for the next school year.
- The District is in the process of upgrading real-time surveillance camera systems at all schools. The work will be completed by June 2018. This work is being funded through the District’s current capital budget funding sources.
There are safety and security measures in the works, including:
- The District has expedited the completion of Single Point of Entry measures for campus visitors, which use fencing and door systems to limit access to one entrance. This work will be completed at all schools by the end of this calendar year or the first quarter of 2019 at the latest. This work is beingn funded through the District’s current capital budget funding sources.
- With the approval of recent legislation, the state will provide the District with approximately $8.5 million to place a minimum of one School Resource Officer in each school beginning in the 2018/19 school year.
- With the approval of recent legislation, the state will also provide the District with approximately $6 million to expand mental health services beginning in the 2018/19 school year.
- The District will develop a Districtwide Security Risk Assessment for all schools by August 2018 and compete for a share of a $98 million statewide allocation to fund, in whole or in part, the costs associated with improving the physical security of school buildings. The state anticipates awarding grant funds to approved school districts in the first quarter of 2019.
- The District will convene working groups and task forces to garner suggestions from citizens in our communities.
The District is continuing to encourage parents and students to say something if they see something and submit tips in the following ways:
- Call 754-321-0911
- Email email@example.com
- Text CRIMES 274637 – the message must begin with SBBC
- Submit online via broward.k12.fl.us/siu/siunew/tipsemail.asp