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Lee County school district discusses safety and security at workshop

The coronavirus is likely changing the way your child is educated this year, but The School District of Lee County says keeping students safe and secure is still a top priority.

We learned more about what’s in store to keep students safe in classrooms for the upcoming school year during a Lee County School Board workshop Tuesday.

Students have become accustomed to armed school resource officers on campuses. That will be the way forward this year with a slight increase in staffing.

“Our plan is to add a second SRO to all the high schools,” said Rick Parfitt, the District’s director of safety and security.

Alyssa’s Law, which provides a panic button inside classrooms to notify first responders of a crisis, goes into effect next school year. Parfitt is looking at using a mobile app.

“In a crisis situation, an emergency situation, you want to take steps away from folks as to what they need to do in an emergency,” Parfitt said.

In Southwest Florida, hurricanes are always a concern, and preparation is key. For school buildings that could be used as shelters, upgrades have been made. Antennas have been added to improve radio communications, windows replaced and generator repairs completed.

Due to COVID-19, a lot of the training for staff who might have to work in shelters are now online.

“We are prepared working with maintenance and other departments here should a hurricane happen,” Parfitt said. “And we are ready for that.”

The coronavirus has changed some protocols within the schools. For example, they have to now rethink how they do drills with the kids, so they can keep socially distanced.

We sat down with the head of the District’s safety and security to talk about all that in-depth. You can watch that story Wednesday on WINK News This Morning starting 5 a.m.

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Reporter:Rich Kolko
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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