Leon County Schools continuing to enhance security across the district

Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 5:42 PM EST
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By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News

November 14, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Thursday's shooting at a Los Angeles High School is bringing back memories of the Parkland shooting in Florida and it hits home for all parents who are worried about the safety of their children when they head off to school.

Leon County Schools are continuing to harden security in response to Parkland.

The chief safety officer for LCS, John Hunkiar, says safety is all about how many eyes are on people coming and going from school properties.

He says the latest addition of a guard house to Leon High School will only help with that goal. The outpost will be fully hooked up to the district's computer system and include a mass alert speaker system as well.

The district says it was important Leon High School received the first in the district.

"Leon High School, based on its age, historical significance, where it's located, presents many security challenges so this is the first high school we anticipate national projects to receive a guard house during school hours it will be staffed," Hunkiar said.

It should be operational come the beginning of the 2020 calendar year.

The roughly $80,000 cost comes from state dollars from the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas fund, which set aside $99 million for various school safety enhancements.

The district hopes to add similar structures to two other schools within the next year.

An arrest was made in connection to a recent threat directed towards Leon High. During these investigations, the district uses the state-provided 'Behavioral Threat Assessment Instrument.'

It's an extensive checklist and questionnaire officials use to determine the credibility of a threat. Mandated by the state legislature for use this year, Hunkiar said LCS was already using it before.

"It's more formal now," he said, referring to that process.

This comes as the district continues to provide five hours of mental health training for teachers. Superintendent Rocky Hanna admits it's a sad reality.

"The list goes on and on and on and is way outside of the scope any teacher signed up for in their field of instruction," he said.

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