HomeFlorence CountyFlorence School District 5 implements new safety measures including weapons detectors and...

Florence School District 5 implements new safety measures including weapons detectors and clear bag policy

Florence County, South Carolina – Florence School District 5 announced big changes for safety starting next school year. Johnsonville Elementary, Middle, and High Schools will have new weapons detection systems. Students in grades 5-12 and all visitors will be screened when they enter the buildings. There will also be a new clear bag rule that applies to lunch boxes, purses, and duffel bags. But, thermal food containers and sports gear won’t have to follow this rule.

Superintendent Allana Prosser wrote a letter to parents saying the district talked a lot with parents and teachers about school safety and security. After those discussions, the district team worked hard to create a plan to start the school year with strong safety measures. The new school year begins on July 31.

Florence School District 5 announced big changes for safety starting next school year. Three schools will have new weapons detection systems
Credit: Unsplash

This is the letter Florence School District 5 sent to parents of students in full:

Dear Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers,

All students deserve safe campuses where they can learn, interact with peers, and develop their skills unhindered by internal or external threats. You need to feel that your students are safe at school. Unfortunately, school safety is a growing concern in our country. Each year there are more and more incidents of violence and harmful behavior that directly impacts students’ ability to feel secure at school and learn effectively.

We have had many conversations with parents and teachers over the concerns of safety and security in schools. We listened and our team worked hard to create a plan to ensure that we begin the school year with proactive safety measures in place. The safety of our students is our number one priority. The following safety measures will be implemented for the 24-25 school year:

Use of Weapons Detectors

Our weapons detectors will be placed at the entry ways at all three schools. Students in grades 5-12 and visitors will be screened upon entry into the building.

Measures schools must take to make this happen:

  • Train staff members on the use of our weapons detectors and the procedures relating to screening people entering the buildings.
  • Communicate expectations to students, staff, and school visitors regarding screening procedures and expectations.

Clear Bag Practice

Clear book bags make it easier for school officials to see what’s inside the bag and helps prevent students from concealing weapons. The primary objective of clear bag policies is to enhance safety and security on campus. Clear bags provide transparency and enable security personnel to easily inspect their contents, thus reducing the likelihood of prohibited items entering the classroom. The implementation of clear bag policies can significantly expedite the bag check process and acts as a deterrent for students attempting to bring unauthorized items into the classroom and preventing potential threats, such as weapons, vaping devices or dangerous substances, from entering the school.

Measures schools must take to make this happen:

  • Reduce the number of books students are required to take home.
  • Provide access to clear bags at an affordable cost to parents.
  • Provide a place for students to store athletic equipment excluded from the clear bag practice

We hope that this letter and the attached flyer provide you with a better understanding of the reasoning behind why these safety measures are being implemented in our district. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your student’s school.

Read also: Two Florence County students accepted into SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities residential high school program

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