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LCSO, school district talk about changes after Parkland mass shooting

As the one year anniversary of the Parkland mass shooting approaches, Lee County officials presented a unified front in a press conference where they addressed campus security. This comes after a record number of school threats.

Fourteen students and three staff members died in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018.  At the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, officials informed the public about recent measures that have been put in place to keep students safe.

LCSO Sheriff Carmine Marceno made clear the severity of mass shootings and his offices zero-tolerance stance on threats — real or fake. His position comes as Lee County has seen 47 school shooting threats in the last six months.

Amira Fox, state attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit, added how the state would help work with local law enforcement by saying they would prosecute suspects to the fullest extent of the law. Officials hope the consequences will deter future students from making mass shooting threats.

These mass shooting threats are real for parents, including officials with children at Lee County public schools. Brian Hamman, Lee County commissioner, said as he would drop off his daughter at school, he would say a prayer that his daughter would return safely at the end of the day.

To ensure the safety of students, the School District of Lee County has implemented several safety procedures and added new technologies to secure campuses, enhance safety protocols, along with expanding mental health and supportive services.

“Campus gates are closed,” said Dr. Greg Adkins, School District of Lee County superintendent. “The doors leading to instructional classrooms and student occupied spaces are locked during school hours.”

The school district has put in place the Red Lock system, which allows teachers to lock classroom doors from the inside. Adkins said that two-thirds of Lee County schools classrooms have the security precaution, with the remainder expected to be completed by the end of the year.

LCSO will also have access to school security cameras to see incidents in real time. The insight would help authorities coordinate with school resource officers and strategically handle dangerous threats.

“When it comes to safety, we stand united with the common goal of providing our children safe and secure schools,” Marceno said.

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