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Aiken County school leaders discuss safety from shooters

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 6:20 PM EDT
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - We’re checking in with one of our largest local school districts to see what steps they’re taking to keep our kids safe in the classroom.

The thought of an active shooter at your kid’s school is something no parent wants to have. It could happen anywhere, and it’s up to school district leaders to make sure they’re prepared.

We met with Superintendent King Laurence in Aiken. Here’s what the district doing to be ready for these kinds of emergencies.

They’re working to make some changes to safety plans and adding more personnel to schools across the district.

They’re adding new technology for staff members and reminding everyone in their schools that they’re working every day to be proactive to make sure a tragic situation never happens.

Day in and day out, and behind the scenes at your kid’s school, Aiken County district leaders are working to make sure every student, teacher, and staff member makes it home at the end of the day.

“Safety is something that we think about every day. A day doesn’t go by that I’m not concerned about student and employee safety,” he said.

Laurence tells us he’s working to improve safety even before the tragic events unfolded in Texas.

“That’s got to be something that we think about every day, whether there’s a tragedy or not, we’ve got to be thinking about it, and it has to be our top priority every day to ensure safety,” said Laurence.

He believes it’s helping them be proactive instead of reactive. They’re working on hiring a new director of safety and emergency operations.

“This is going to provide us with an opportunity to have someone who is fully engaged with school safety all day every day,” he said.

That includes making safety plans, training staff, and talking with law enforcement. He says securing school entrances is also in the works for many older buildings.

“You have to make sure doors are locked. You have to make sure there’s a single point of entry into schools. You have to remind students not to open doors for anybody,” he said.

School resource officers are not in every school yet. But, he tells us local law enforcement is working to make that happen.

“Evil exists in the world. It’s out there, and we have to do everything we can to keep our students safe. We have to make sure we’re following those protocols,” said Laurence.

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