Given the recent event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, schools across Florida have opted to take more impactful security measures. To ease students’ minds, high school principal Mrs. Elise Blum and head of security and ex-FBI employee Joe Cicini held an assembly first period from March 5 to March 7 focusing on the school’s current security measures and the upgrades that are to come, also allowing students to ask their own questions. Mrs. Blum and Mr. Cicini offered plenty of information.
One of the many security features on campus are the numerous security cameras. Current cameras detect motion and can pinpoint the exact location of suspicious movement coming onto and going off campus. The parking garage is also equipped with these cameras as well as a security center on the bottom floor to ensure the large area is secure. Cameras expect to be upgraded with a speaker system for announcements during Code Browns to direct and inform students what to do and what is going on.
While soft lockdowns are not immediate threats, they occur when armed and dangerous suspects are in the surrounding area of the school. Hard lockdowns, on the other hand, occur when a dangerous suspect is on the campus itself. To better identify these to students, the Code Brown siren will be reserved for hard lockdowns, with the camera speakers announcing when there’s a soft lockdown. As for the Code Brown itself, in order to align with the public school system, the name “Code Brown” will be changed to “Code Red” next year.
In recent weeks, two false alarms have gone off during and after school because of the new Silver Shield teacher app. Silver Shield gives teachers access to the Code Brown siren upon entering an access code. Due to the two accidental lockdowns, teachers’ access has been suspended until the system can be enhanced to avoid accidental alarms.
As most have noticed, there are two officers stationed on campus during the school day. These officers are armed and ready to handle any situation, and they have access to the police radio to instantly inform other officers if a threat comes on campus. While teachers will definitely not be armed, these officers will be handling physical security professionally.
School has been and will be making several more improvements to security over the coming months to ensure students are safe on campus. When kids go to school, they should have no concern other than their next test or normal teenage drama. Through these improved security measures, school will make sure those are students’ only problems.