Safety is a top priority this new school year
As students board the buses and walk into the classroom for the first time this year, the school district says the safety changes made over the summer won’t be that noticeable to students, but that is done intentionally.
“We want to do things that don’t interfere with the education, we don’t want kids coming into a school feeling fear just by coming in there,” Lee County Chief of Security, Rick Parfitt said.
But Parfitt says safety tops everything else and a lot of their focus this year is on the district’s threat assessment teams.
The threat assessment team reviews and makes recommendations on potential threats, and the goal is to keep you at home informed if something does happen at the school.
Last year the school district adopted a new system called “School Messenger”, that alerts parents through text or email.
Families can also log on in to the “parent portal” where you can see all those alerts listed and a number of other messages.
Parfitt says they want to keep parents in the loop without causing unnecessary panic.
“There’s something written on a bathroom wall and a person’s already posting on social media and we have law enforcement in the school looking into it you know finding out that it’s not a credible threat do we send those out every time.. but I think that’s the concern it’s already out there on social media and we’re playing catch up,” Parfitt said.
The district says 80% of their time and money is focused on prevention, and this includes more mental health professionals at school.
You can also help with safety by seeing something and saying something through the FortifyFL app, which allows you to send in tips of anything that appears suspicious.
To report bullying in Lee County schools you can submit your complaint here