High schools and middle schools in Duval County will have extra security measures in place Tuesday, five years after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
All high school students and their belongings will be searched when they get to school. In middle schools, there will be an increase in random searches.
“Whenever such an anniversary occurs, threats and rumors of threats tend to increase,” the district said in a statement. “While we have not received any specific threats, we will always take steps to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff. Therefore, as a precaution, we will be conducting full screenings of students and their belongings as they enter our high school campuses. At middle schools, we will expand our use of random searches.”
The district asked parents to ensure student backpacks and purses do not contain prohibited items.
Last week, police arrested a man for posting threats online targeting Sadie Tillis Elementary. The school went on lockdown while officers investigated.
News4JJAX spoke with Duval County School Police Chief Gregory Burton about that response.
Burton said the district takes all threats seriously.
“I want everybody to know out there that every single threat that is made to either a student, a student, a principal administrator or a school is taken very serious by the Duval County School Police and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and all of our local partners,” Burton said.
DCPS designed a “family reunification plan” to help students and parents in case of a mass casualty event on a school’s campus.
The plan will help get students and employees back together with their loved ones following a crisis.