Lee School District announces sweeping security changes

Matt Grant

Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Lee School District announces sweeping security changes

CREATED Jan. 9, 2013

FORT MYERS - Lee County Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke announced sweeping security changes and proposals Tuesday.

"We want to assure the board, the community, that we are going to be taking action," said Burke.

The immediate changes comes a day after a man was gunned down at a Fort Myers daycare and on the heels of the tragedy in Connecticut. 

When it comes to Lee County school safety, Burke grades the district somewhere between a B and B+.

"But there is room for improvement?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"Well there is always room for improvement," said Burke.

Improvements like creating a single point of entry for all Lee County schools and repairing or replacing at least 19 busted security cameras.

The district will also assess the number of security cameras in each school.

Burke is also in talks with the Sheriff's Office to station an armed school resource at every school. Currently, there is an SRO at every middle and high school. It would cost the district an extra $4 million, Burke said.

That idea is still being worked out and would need to come up for a board vote.
 
 
"I think that having a law enforcement officer at each school is a good idea," said board chair Mary Fischer, who supports the idea.

The district is also looking to install special classroom locks at all schools, which would cost $6 million.

Burke said they will immediately begin conducting live shooter drills, increase training for security guards and look at hiring more mental health professionals to help prevent tragedies like the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"We want to do all of the things we can responsibly do to keep our schools as safe as possible," said Burke. "And that's what we're going to do."

Matt Grant
mgrant@fox4now.com

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