CCSD 'hard at work' as school security continues evolving

CCSD 'hard at work' as school security continues evolving

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The American Flag is still at half-staff in front of Moultrie Middle School in Mt. Pleasant. Although Charleston County is still mourning the loss of so many innocent lives in the Sandy Hook shooting, the County's Director of Security is "hard at work to keep students safe."

"We're not in a normal situation now," said Jeff Scott, Director of Security for Charleston County Schools. "We'll know what the 'new normal' is as we go along."

Since Monday, Scott says he's been flooded with calls of concerns and new security ideas from parents and school faculty alike.

"I think it is the time to talk about everything," said Scott.

Along with two other retired police officers now employed as CCSD security detail and emergency managers, Scott has looked over safety plans and training procedures more times than he can count over the last few days.

After the horrific school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary, he says security at schools is going to start evolving in many different ways.

"We can't always control what people are going to do," said Scott. "You just have to prepare your best."

Over the last seven years with Charleston County Schools, Scott says that's what he's done.

The bulk of the security procedures that are in place now were started at Moultrie Middle School as it was being built.

Scott says the school was the first in the county with a door bell for visitors, and a lobby that stays locked until they're buzzed in.

Teachers have to use an electronic key card system to get in and out of the school and the faculty there was the first in the district to train for situations like what happened at Sandy Hook.

"They're trained to know what to do and carry out those plans if something does happen," said Scott.

And Moultrie Middle was just the beginning. Since it re-defined school security in the Lowcountry, more than 70 other schools in Charleston County followed suit and adopted similar changes.

Scott says nine of the County's schools still don't have electronic key cards and locked lobby systems.

However, those schools without the security technology are all on a list to be upgraded within the next 12 months.

The Director of Security also says the new school buildings going up downtown, like Memminger Elementary and Buist Academy, will be re-evaluated to see if they can be any more secure.

"We've been very diligently and gone over, with the architects, the plans looking at security issues in the construction process," said Scott. "We're making sure we get what we wanted in the schools."

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