Broward County Public Schools says students, faculty, and staff returning to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for the new school year will notice new security enhancements that are each designed to ensure a safe and secure learning environment.
The new school year begins next week.
According to BCPS, the Parkland school has implemented dozens of changes and anticipates more to come during the 2018/19 school year.
Superintendent Robert W. Runcie says 34 portable classrooms have been installed at MSD, two of which will be used as the Wellness Center, dedicated to individual student and group counseling. Two other portables will serve as administrative office space, 28 will be fully operating classrooms, and the remaining two will be restrooms.
Additional MSD security enhancements include:
- A video intercom system
- Allows staff to interact with visitors before allowing entrance into the building
- Controlled access card readers
- Require staff to swipe ID badges before being granted access to the building
- Upgraded surveillance cameras
- Security person hired to monitor the MSD camera system during the school day
- 18 security staff (double that of the security presence at the start of the 2017/18 school year)
- 3 SROs provided by the City of Parkland and the Broward Sheriff’s Office
- 12 campus monitors
- 3 security specialists
- Two additional guidance counselors
- Will provide counseling and support to the students, staff, families and community
The announcement of the security measures comes after residents expressed disappointment regarding the notification that anticipated metal detectors would not be present on the property for the beginning of the school year.
BCPS says the district still intends to conduct a pilot or trial use of metal detectors.
A District Workshop on Aug. 14 will work through issues that have been raised regarding the metal detectors and seek recommendations from an independent security firm to ensure the pilot is implemented successfully.
Considerations in relation to the detectors include the need for additional infrastructure and equipment, privacy concerns, the impact to start times from processing a large student population through entry point metal detection, staffing models required to support the project, and limitations associated with metal detection.
“The safety of every student, teacher and staff member has been, is, and will be our highest priority. I am incredibly grateful for the true team effort put forth by the District, MSD and our contractors to fast-track the process to make this campus as safe as possible,” said Superintendent Runcie.
“We remain dedicated to continuously improving, enhancing, and strengthening security, so that every individual feels safe, and is safe, at every school, every day.”