An Update from Superintendent Eakins About School Safety
We are deeply saddened by the tragic shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida yesterday. Our thoughts go out to all of the families affected by this tragedy.
Even though this happened in South Florida, we know the news and the pictures we are seeing out of Broward County is frightening for our students, families and staff. We want to share some of the safety measures and training we have had in place and our plans to reinforce the information to students and staff over the next several days.
Hillsborough County Public Schools has spent the last four years securing our campuses. The safety measures on our campuses includes controlled access, fencing, locked gates, security cameras and other features.
Our administrators at schools have undergone "Run, Hide, Fight” training so they know how to react in an active shooter situation. We will continue to train additional members of our staff.
As you know, we perform fire drills with our students and staff every month, often including shelter-in-place scenarios, where they learn to find safe cover and evacuate safely and quickly. We will add lock-down procedures to our emergency drill schedule.
I have directed all principals to conduct a lock-down drill next week. You will receive a separate message next week with more details about the drills. I have also directed all principals to review their safety procedures and walk their campuses to report any concerns.
We also encourage our students and educate them on "See Something, Say Something”, to report any concerns to an adult.
We have always had Hillsborough County Sheriff Deputies, Tampa Police Officers and school security on our campuses, to provide a layer of security and to build relationships with students.
Please remember, we have Students Services personnel, including school psychologists, social workers and school counselors on all campuses if your child needs to talk about how they are being affected by yesterday's events.
The safety of our students and staff is incredibly important to us. We take all threats seriously and encourage you to speak with your children to remind them, if they "See Something, Say Something.”