A year later: school systems reflect on changes made after shooting in Parkland

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HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (WLOS) – February 14th marks the first anniversary of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students and dead staff.

Here in the mountains, many changes have been made since this tragedy.

Many school systems are now striving to make their facilities safer, in the hope of preventing such events from occurring here.

In Henderson County, Superintendent Bo Caldwell said commissioners had received an additional $ 750,000 this year to improve their facilities and help them strengthen their work in the area of ​​mental health.

"At one point, we basically considered safety as a small part of the educational part of that day," said Caldwell.

But, he says, the situation is very different now.

This year, one of the first changes made by the school system in terms of safety concerns their staff.

"We hired a security manager," said Caldwell.

They also hired eight social workers.

Then, the school system examined the physical changes they could add to existing buildings.

"The office is on the left and, you see, you can walk right in front of the office and not register at all," added Caldwell.

This is no longer the case after the installation of new double doors. Those who remain locked during the day.

Finally, a bell will be placed next to the office door.

"They're going to buzz in the office, and the secretary will let it in," Caldwell said.

Henderson County is not the only school system to have made this type of security change.

Throughout the state, other work is also underway.

"What we have done at the state level is that the House of Representatives has set up a small committee on school security," said Drew Elliot, director of communications for the Department of Justice. public education of North Carolina. "In the future, the legislature has a lot to do and the governor, as well as the superintendent, have all declared that they would support more money for school trustees, but also for the construction of 39; schools ".

Superintendent Caldwell thinks it would be very helpful.

"I think we can certainly say that we are working to be as safe as possible, but we are not stopping," said Caldwell.

This summer, the state of North Carolina will also launch an anonymous reporting and consulting application.

This will provide parents, students, teachers and community members a way to anonymously report things that worry them in schools.

Lawmakers at the North Carolina General Assembly tabled bills last year aimed at amending the gun laws, but none of these were referred to a committee.

Last December, President Trump banned big prize stocks after he drew the country's attention to the Las Vegas Massacre.