In light of the tragic event that occurred on February 14 during which 17 lives were lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in what is now considered one of the deadliest school massacres in the nation’s history, leaders representing Miami-Dade County are seeking support from the state of Florida and are requesting an extra $30 million this year to further reinforce school campus security infrastructure and improve mechanisms for the prevention of future tragedies.
The request came in a letter sent to state House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Senate President Joe Negron from Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and multiple elected officials, including Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
The funding request seeks $10 million for an additional 100 members of the school system’s police force. $7.8 million to support mental health services which allow hiring 75 mental-health professionals and social workers and 4 mental health counselor advocates dedicated to providing counselling services to students exposed to violent crime.
Additionally, a multi-year request for equipment and building improvements that would cost $12 million the first year including the following: video surveillance systems and Internet protocol monitoring systems for school sites; evaluating classrooms for bulletproof glass; mechanisms to automatically lock classroom doors; cyber experts; social media data-mining and early detection software, etc.
As the issue of school security and student safety is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts, improved security measures are being implemented. In a letter sent to members of The School Board of Miami-Dade County, Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Schools, instructs deployment of safety protocols to be laid out immediately.
Teachers will have to lock their classrooms during the school day, and all school security personnel will be required to wear a recognizable uniform. In addition, all students and personnel in secondary schools will be required to have and display identification badges, and a reduction in the points of entry to school sites for both employees and students, among other security measures, should be implemented.
“Sometimes moments of crisis urge us to act, and we have as we revisit our school safety protocols. As local leaders, this is a responsibility we take seriously and hold ourselves accountable,” said Dr. Larry Feldman, member of the School Board of Miami-Dade County.
However, improved security measures at schools are not the only result of this tragic incident. A new movement, the #NeverAgain campaign, was formed by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s survivors in the aftermath of this tragedy. The group demanded legislative action to prevent similar shootings in the future and confronted Florida’s lawmakers to demand gun control reforms. So far, they have received massive attention all over the country and several high schools in Florida have walked out in support.
Haz clic para leer en Español: Tras tragedia de Parkland, líderes de Miami-Dade requieren $29.8 millones para mejorar medidas de seguridad en las escuelas