School districts across Central Florida are at a heightened level of security following Wednesday’s deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
A code red alert drill was scheduled Thursday morning at Rock Lake Middle School in light of Wednesday’s shooting, but it was canceled.
A code red is to alert students and staff about a possible active shooter on campus.
The Seminole County School District holds two code red drills every year -- one announced, one unannounced.
“Now that we have witnessed 18 of these types of active shooter situations just this year, I think that emphasizes a little bit more how serious we need to take these things,” Rock Lake Principal Dr. Jordan Rodriguez said.
Students are taught to find the closest room they can get into.
“During a code red, nobody exits. The doors are locked. We would hit the lights off, so it’s completely dark,” Rodriguez said.
Students and teachers huddle in the dark and don’t speak. They’re also not allowed to use their cellphones because of the light that could be emitted from the screen.
“If something is on campus that you know it not supposed to be here, you got to say something,” Rodriguez said.
Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Desmond Blackburn said in a statement, "Our focus today across Brevard Public Schools is to support our students and staff through this time of emotional shock. Our prayers are with the families who lost loved ones in Broward County, some of whom live right here in Brevard. BPS will continue to take steps to improve security in our schools. We are grateful for our partnership with the Brevard Sheriff's Office and city police departments, which have made strenuous efforts to keep our schools safe."
In Lake County, classroom doors are always locked to reinforce the single point of entry on campus, district officials said.
Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods posted on Facebook that 12 school resource officers are in 12 schools, seven in middle schools and five in high schools.
Active shooter drills are conducted on a regular basis, Woods said.
Orange County School District Superintendent Barbara Jenkins sent a phone message to parents Wednesday night to let them know that significant and confidential measures are in place.
My message to OCPS parents and guardians tonight, in the wake of this tragedy. pic.twitter.com/cxYed2rY2I— Dr. Barbara Jenkins (@SuptJenkins) February 15, 2018
The Osceola County School District sent out a social media post about student safety being a top priority.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office also posted to social media to discuss safety measures at the schools.
Volusia County schools said in a Facebook post that they have substantial and confidential safety measures in place for students and staff. The district has also asked law enforcement agencies for additional surveillance at the schools.
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