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Schools across Florida continue to tighten security 2 years after Parkland shooting

Since the Parkland shooting that took the lives of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two years ago, schools across Florida have tightened up security to protect our students.

Fort Myers High School parent, Meg Middaugh, notices the changes in security at her son’s school.

“I believe they’ve taken it up a notch,” she said.

School districts across SWFL took quick action after the Parkland school massacre.

“The sheriff’s office helped us get an SRO on every campus,” said Rob Spicker with the Lee County School District.

A move that put parents like Robert Esposito at ease.

“I hate to say it, but it’s the part of modern-day life. I’d rather have a police officer here than try to call one when things are out of hand,” he said.

Charlotte and Hendry county schools already had armed law enforcement officers at every school and Hendry jumped on the guardian program as soon as lawmakers approved the idea. They’re the only district in SWFL that participates in the program.

Now, trained staff on campus carry guns. In addition, Paul Puletti with Hendry County Schools said they began fencing the schools. “We had one school that was wide open,” he said.

Security for Southwest Florida schools now begins well before the front door with fences wrapped all the way around with only one way in and one way out. But, even more changes have been taking place inside the school.

“Now you have to buzz the secretary on the inside, they’ll speak to you through the audio system in the camera, have to hold up an ID and say why you’re there so you can be let in,” Spiker said.

Districts say they’re working on enhancing security even more.

“We’re working on a system now where every teacher on their phones has, like, a button where if anything were to happen, they can click it and everybody knows to go on lockdown,” said Mike Riley with Charlotte County Schools.

All necessary changes to protect our students.

“No child should be afraid to go to school ever and nothing should happen there that ever makes them afraid to come back,” Middaugh said.

Every school district locally told us they’ve added guidance and mental health counselors to help students.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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