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Lee County Schools assuring parents of safety measures following Texas mass shooting

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Posted at 5:08 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 20:10:14-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — In the one week since a Texas mass school shooting that left 19 elementary students and two teachers dead, several parents have called concerned about safety.

Many are wanting specific answers about what Southwest Florida school district leaders are doing to keep children safe.

We brought the concerns to the Lee County School District.

"When you see something like that happens in our nation, with something as tragic as what happened in Texas, you want to make sure are your kids safe in our schools," said David Newland, executive director of safety, security, and emergency management for the district. "And we want to assure them that they are."

Newland says there are several security measures that happen beyond the gates you see on the outside.

"We have something called Centegix now that if something was to happen, every employee has a card," Newland said.

An employee will click the button a few times to notify the right people of an emergency. When that happens, the school goes into an automatic lockdown.

Dispatchers are notified of the emergency and the police department can respond immediately.

Inside the school, teachers follow protocols, an announcement is made over the intercom and emergency lights begin to flash.

"We have security on all of our doors, and we have cameras in all of our schools," Newland explained. "With the training, constantly — we have security managers looking at our schools, looking at each location, making sure everything’s secure."

The Lee County School District isn't the only district with these kinds of safeguards.

Collier County Public Schools security measures:

  • Law enforcement personnel are on our campuses all day, every day
  • We operate single points of entry at all schools
  • We installed video doorbells to allow front doors to remain locked at all schools
  • Classroom doors remain locked
  • Classroom door windows are covered
  • We assess every single classroom in conjunction with law enforcement
  • All staff have the ability to call for a lockdown
  • Students at all schools have id badges
  • We have school threat assessment teams at every school
  • Backpacks and large bags aren’t allowed at athletic events
  • All first responders have key access to our campuses during an emergency

Charlotte County released its security measures:

  • Active Assailant One Button Lock Down System
  • 6 Foot Fencing with Electronic Gates at All K-12 Schools
  • New Surveillance Video Cameras (With 24/7 Law Enforcement Access)
  • A-1 Phone System at School Access Points (Front Door and Front Gate)
  • Panic Buttons
  • Outside Key Boxes for Local Law Enforcement
  • School Based Threat Assessment Teams

This list does not include all the measures.

Also, according to Florida law, every school needs to have at least one resource officer.

"I want to assure them that we are constantly looking at the things, that we make sure we have in place to protect the students, their kids, and our staff as well," Newland said. "We want to make sure that parents know their kids are safe."

The Fort Myers Police spokesman says it will have heightened awareness and patrols at all schools through June 2. Cape Coral Police will have its officers do extra patrol checks at schools in the officer's district.