Lee County School District upgrading school security

Published: February 23, 2021 5:10 AM EST
Updated: February 23, 2021 6:25 AM EST

Today, the Lee County School Board will look at new ways to better secure school campuses, from the first entryways into their school buildings to inside the classrooms.

The district says all of the eight projects will enhance the security at the main school entrances. A security problem identified at Fort Myers High School, for instance, is that when you enter through the front doors, you walk straight into the main building, giving you access to the entire school.

With a little over $1.4 million in grant money supplied by the state, the Lee County School District will upgrade specific entrances so that visitors will enter into a secure area and only have controlled access to the rest of the building. School board members like Gwyn Gitten of Lee County District Five say these are necessary measures, especially in the wake of attacks like the Parkland school shooting.

“There was a breach in Parkland, and so now we are all heightened and aware of what is going on,” Gitten said. “It’s the fact that our mission and goal is to educate and keep kids safe. So that’s one of our main things that we have to do.”

The district says the schools were selected through school surveys and site visits.

“The main issue is to keep students safe,” Gitten said. “Anytime there is even the slightest possibility of them not being safe, of course, it is a concern. And we look and see what we can do, because that’s what we have to do… is to keep kids safe.”

Click here for a list of all the schools that will see these safety upgrades.