JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Extra security measures are in place now that graduation season is in full swing.
The Duval County Public Schools district is making sure everyone is safe when it comes to security at commencement ceremonies.
But because of the increased security measures, lines are long and loved ones should be prepared to wait patiently.
"I would say get here early, because you are going to go through a lot of security to make sure nothing inappropriate is going in," said Kimberly Rusak, who attended her son's graduation Friday. "That’s why we came early, because we knew it was going to be a longer wait to get in because of that. It’s fine by me. Better safe than sorry."
Police officers were in place at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday, and members of the Security, Athletic Facilities & Events, or S.A.F.E., Management security team checked visitors as they entered the building.
Before you walk through the metal detectors, you'll be asked to drop items in a bin. If the metal detector goes off, security personnel will use wands to check you further.
Visitors appreciated the new guidelines, which include limited bag size and no balloons.
"It’s worth it, if it doesn’t happen to us like some of the other things that are happening," said Barbara Lane, who watched her granddaughter graduate Friday. "I think getting there slow is better than not getting there at all."
Four graduation ceremonies are scheduled Friday at different venues around Jacksonville.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: DCPS Graduation Schedule
The school district is encouraging everyone to plan ahead and know the rules so you don’t miss the festivities.
Rules to Follow
Officers with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office will provide extra security at elementary schools in Duval County for the remainder of the year.
The decision to request additional security is a precaution in light of the recent shooting at a Texas high school that left 10 dead.
School resource officers are already in place at middle and high schools.