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Leon County Schools completes their Florida's Safe School Assessment

Posted at 5:18 PM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 17:18:41-04

LEON COUNTY, Fla. — Protecting our classrooms is the number one priority now in schools across the state.

The Chief of Safety at Leon County Schools will present his security report to the school board Tuesday night.

We got a sneak peek into what that report will include.

"It's a sad day when you have to send your kid to school and be concerned for their safety - and we want to make sure that we are doing everything possible to make sure our students are safe in Leon County," said Alva Striplin, board member at Leon County Schools.

The annual safety and security assessments at Florida school districts got more in-depth following the passage of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Act of 2018, which was also enhanced this past year.

Leon County Schools just completed their assessments for 2019.

"Not only physical security like things that are obvious like cameras, fencing and locks but also the programs that the district has like safety programs for students and staff," said John Hunkiar, Chief of Safety, Security and Prof. Practices at Leon County Schools.

After conducting the self-assessments, Chief Hunkiar says Leon County successfully met all of the goals for this year. But there's always something to do better. At Tuesday's board meeting he will recommend goals and improvements for next year.

For instance, Hunkiar would like to speed up the emergency response at schools.

"That project is called Rave Panic button and we look to do a complete build-out of that program," said Hunkiar.

There's also a guard booth project in the works for Leon High School. He's going to propose similar projects at Godby and Lincoln High schools.

Chief Hunkiar says tragedy can happen anywhere but LCS is doing its best to prevent and to be ready to respond.

"I feel we are as prepared as we ever have been and I still feel like schools are the safest place for our children," said Hunkiar.

This year's enhanced version of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Safety bill included a stronger focus on issues like mental health and information sharing.

Among other things, it required all schools to have law enforcement present at every school in Florida.