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Expanding safety protocols: Clear backpacks, metal detectors in Parkland

Expanding safety protocols at MSD. (WPEC)
Expanding safety protocols at MSD. (WPEC)
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More officers. Clear backpacks. Metal detectors.

After a week of arrests and disappointment, the Broward School District is taking steps to improve the safety and security at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and all public schools within the district.

This comes less than a day after the Broward Sheriff’s Office suspended a deputy for sleeping in his patrol car. Two students were arrested this week for bringing knives to school, another Baker Acted for making threats on social media. Plus, the trespassing arrest of Zachary Cruz, the brother of the self-professed shooter.

According to a letter sent to parents Wednesday, students will be required to wear identification badges at all times and carry clear backpacks, which will be given to them at no cost.

One student tells WPEC the changes are a little concerning.

“It’s a little insane, because we need our privacy,” said Shanon Li, senior at Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the letter, Superintendent Robert Runcie said the district is also exploring the option of adding metal detectors and metal-detecting wants. It’s made possible through Florida Governor Rick Scott’s new law.

“I think by using that money as a way to prevent a school shooting from occurring, rather than just preparing is just as important,” said Alyssa Fletcher, student.

Junior Rachel Starikov supports some of the safety measures.

“People don’t understand what we went through that day - they can’t. If I can prevent that from ever happening again, by getting myself patted down, or walking through a metal detector. I will do that every day for the rest of my school career,” said Starikov.

The school district will be upgrading its real-time surveillance camera systems at all schools, and will continue to conduct code-red and active shooter training throughout the school year.

Spring break begins Friday and students return April 2nd.

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