Broward County Takes Steps To Prevent School Shootings
March 24, 2019
On January 15th, Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie released a set of security measures in order to prevent future massacres. The new safety procedures are in response to the school shooting carried out in February 2018, in which seventeen students and teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were killed.
Among the new protocols is the establishment of “hard corners” in every classroom where students can hide in case of a school shooting. As hard corners cannot be seen by a gunman shooting through a doorway, Runcie hopes that they will provide more safety for students and teachers. James Harpring, a member of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Committee argues that “a hard corner…doesn’t cost anything and is an immediate lifesaving action that can take place.” Runcie stated the designated safe spaces would be established in all 20,000 classrooms in the district by the end of February.
Runcie is also stressing that all schools have only one point of entry in order for security guards to clearly take note of who enters and exits the schools. As of now, 82% of schools in schools in Broward have revamped their campuses in order to meet this request.
Superintendent Runcie also stated that he wants to create a “culture of safety” in Broward schools by locking gates during school hours and enforcing that students, staff, and visitors wear an ID at all times. In order to ensure that the new measures are being carried out, safety policies will be annually audited with surprise visits. He hopes to make Broward County schools the safest in the nation after the massacre that occurred in his district. “I, as a superintendent in this district, own responsibility for making sure that we’re doing every single thing we can in our power to make our schools as safe as possible”.
The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was a wake-up call to officials in the United States, as they realized that better safety procedures were vital to the safety of students. States are turning to increased law enforcement in schools in order to prevent another tragedy. For example, Florida passed the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, requiring armed security in every public high school in Florida, usually local police officers.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that measures must be taken in order to prevent future school shootings. “All I can think is how many more times do we have to go through this?” said Senator Bill Nelson. “When is enough, enough?”