Broward County

Broward Schools Superintendent Unveils New Security Measures

Broward County's schools superintendent on Wednesday unveiled new security measures that will be in place for the upcoming school year.

Superintendent Robert Runcie paid a visit to Miramar High School, which will feature a series of fences and gates that weren't there before. The goal of the new measures is to create a single point of entry at schools.

"You can come in here and you'll be funneled into this single point of entry access to the school. You won't be able to get in anywhere else because the perimeter is secure," Runcie said.

The new doors will be locked every day at ten minutes after the start of the school day so that no one can get in from the outside. But from the inside, doors will remain unlocked so students can get out in the event of an emergency or any other reason.

It's all part of a $26 million plan for tighter security at campuses across Broward that includes at least one armed guard or school resource officer at every school, thousands of upgraded security cameras, and required ID badges for students, staff and visitors. An additional $5 million will go toward expanding mental health services.

"We're in the process of hiring additional counselors, social workers, behavioral specialists, all of those resources that are critical to meet needs of students and deal with their challenges," Runcie said.

Runcie said many of the safety enhancements were coming down the pipeline but were fast-tracked after 17 students and staff were murdered in the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in February.

"It's been stressful in the sense that it hit so close to home, MSD is in our Broward family so it's been on our minds," Runcie said.

Students can also expect more safety drills to interrupt class to prepare them for an emergency.

"It's hard to get to teaching and learning if we don't address safety first. Unfortunately it's a reality we have to deal with and it's cutting into some time, but it's minimal and we have to do it," Runcie said.

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