FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward County Public Schools is stepping up security to help fight gun violence and social media threats, which have reached an all-time high across South Florida schools.
On Dec. 17, a code red took place at South Plantation High School after the threat of a gun on campus.
That same day, a 16-year-old was found with a loaded gun at Miramar High School. The student was arrested.
“There has been a huge uptake in scares, which makes it almost impossible for our teachers or our students to learn or to provide education because, you know, we live in a community where it happened,” said Broward County School Board member Debbie Hixon.
This hits close to Hixon, whose husband, Chris Hixon, was killed on Valentine’s Day in 2018, along with 16 other students and faculty.
“It would not have stopped what happened on Feb. 14, but if it has the chance to let someone know, there are a lot of other things that happened on Feb 14. that hadn’t gone, that the gates had been locked, he would’ve had to go through a single point of entry, so we corrected those things. It’s a deterrent,” said Hixon.
The Broward County School Board discussed adding metal detectors to all schools, Wednesday.
“The fact we’re doing metal detection, hands on metal detection, now in 2022 that’s great,” said Broward County School Board Member Lori Alhadeff. “Personally, I feel that we should’ve implemented after the tragedy.”
At least one metal detector wand will be added at all schools in the county.
“The steps they are doing, I think this is going to be good for us,” said Claudia Velez, a parent.
Velez said after receiving multiple alerts about school threats, the board’s discussion is a step in the right direction.
“Anything we can to protect our kids, we can’t be there all the time. There’s only so many steps we can do as a parent,” said Velez.
Wanding for weapons is already happening at football and basketball games. The school board said with all the social media threats and actual weapons found on campus so far this year, it is absolutely necessary.
“Nothing wrong with keeping safe,” said Kenny Mills, a parent. “You’re not looking at people’s personal bags, you’re just checking to make sure they don’t have a dangerous weapon that can hurt everybody else.”
“This board is committed to making sure that we implement and we continue to implement procedures and policies that Broward County Schools in a fair and equitable way, where nobody is targeted, nobody is discriminated against,” said Broward County School Board Member Dr. Rosalind Osgood.
Wands are already being purchased. The school board will formally vote to approve the wands Jan. 11. They said this needs to happen to protect students and teachers on campuses across Broward County.
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