Emphasis on safety in schools during event for Duval County families

Ahead of their return for the fall semester, families were invited to a Parent Academy school safety event for Duval County schools on Tuesday night.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ahead of their return for the fall semester, families were invited to a Parent Academy school safety event for Duval County schools on Tuesday night.

Duval County Schools Police Chief Greg Burton -- the father of a 12-year-old Duval County student and grandfather of two -- told the group of parents and caregivers that he is invested in the district’s safety.

“I wake up every day saying when I put on this uniform, expecting that at some point I may not come home because, I put this uniform on, but I do it for my son and our grandchildren. To keep them safe,” Burton said.

He told parents that every school and charter school is required to do at least one active shooter drill and one emergency drill monthly.

The safety event, held at Atlantic Coast High School, included a demonstration of the district’s lockdown procedures and a discussion of how the district responds to threats.

“If it’s through social media, we’re gonna find out. I can tell you that right now,” Burton said.

Parents we spoke with said they came to arm themselves with knowledge and ask questions.

“As a parent, I just want to be comfortable. That the teachers understand what my concerns are in terms of safety and that the administration is being open and transparent about what they’re doing as an entity to help protect our children,” said parent Mark Rivera.

Burton pointed out the number of cameras on each school campus and said the district will add more as needed following security assessments.

Burton told the group that the district’s police and security personnel train continuously for what he called the No. 1 threat: an active shooter.

The officers are sent through active shooter training with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, including a “full scale” exercise, planned for later this year.


About the Author:

At WJXT for a quarter of a century, Mary Baer anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news weekdays.