Miami-Dade Superintendent of Schools Alberto Carvalho said he has confidence in his district’s security procedures Monday, as students returned to school following Friday’s mass shooting in Connecticut.
“Our protocols are solid. We conduct routine evacuation drills and lockdown drills,” Carvalho said.
The district has a school resource officer program and the Miami-Dade Schools Police, as well as trained security monitors and security guards deployed to all schools, Carvalho noted.
He had words for those who are grieving after Friday’s tragedy in which 26 victims and the shooter were killed Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“I want to sincerely convey my heartfelt sorrow and words of solace, prayer,” Carvalho told NBC 6 South Florida.
Carvalho also sent a message to the thousands of parents who are now paying much more attention to the security of their kids.
“We went into the weekend with a great deal of conversation with our cabinet, particularly around security and safety preparedness and response,” he said.
New school board member Susie Castillo said she wants a review of each school’s lockdown procedures.
“As we saw in this unfortunate incident that happened over the last weekend, lives that were spared because these teachers knew the lockdown procedures and knew how to put safety first above anything else – is something that we want to make sure we have here in our school system here in Miami-Dade County,” she said.
The Broward County public schools said they will have an increased police presence throughout the school community throughout this week, and that school police are working closely with the Broward Sheriff’s Office and city police departments.
Many school districts have taken measures in response to Friday’s events, said Alex Vasquez, who spent 25 years with the FBI and now runs a security consulting firm. .
“The main thing is close cooperation between the school district and law enforcement as to those procedures,” he said. “Law enforcement has to understand what the procedures are for each individual school and hopefully they are standardized across district lines.”