Horry County School board members, parents discuss school safety


School safety. It’s a topic that’s been on our minds a lot lately considering the most recent deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla. and the numerous threats schools in our area have been getting.

Monday night during the Horry County School Board meeting, board members went into executive session to discuss school safety. While the discussion was behind closed doors, we did get a chance to speak with the chairman of the board as well as some parents before the meeting.

Parents ABC 15 spoke with say they do feel their students are safe in their schools the way they are, but they also believe there could be more updates to some security measures and programs to help prevent small situations from turning into big issues.

“When you look at what happened in Florida, we’re going to look at some of our things, and what we do, and what we do in our procedures and see what changes need to be made to accommodate the thought process of what’s going on,” said Chairman of the Board Joe Defeo.

Defeo says he doesn’t believe a tragedy like the Parkland shooting would happen in Horry County, because of how seriously law enforcement takes threats.

“Some of the board members wanted updates on some of the procedures that we have in some of the schools also,” he said.

Some parents of Horry County students believe there are some good procedures in place, but have worries about some that are being talked about by lawmakers.

“I believe that the metal detectors are helping a lot. I think they need to keep the metal detectors in the schools. I’m not for them having teachers carry guns. I think that’s not what I would like to see the district do, so I’m hoping they do not pass those laws,” said Natasha West, one of many parents picking her child up from the Boys and Girls Club.

Some parents believe on the safety front, the issue of bullying needs to be better handled.

“I just feel like bullying is a big problem in the school systems and that’s where a lot of this stuff stems from,” said Danielle Tobin.

Tobin has a 6-year-old daughter who’s seen the bullying first hand.

“I do see a lot of it. I hear a lot of the kids with the bullying. My daughter comes home saying’s just outrageous some of the things that she comes home and says which are not even true. Then on top of it, with bullying, I think they need to get parents more involved. They should have some type of program in the school,” said Tobin.

Also on the list of parent concerns, making sure that bags are searched after they’re scanned.

“You know, they’re not even thoroughly looking through the stuff, so I just think if they’re going to have that, it needs to be done thoroughly done as well,” Tobin said.

The chairman tells ABC 15 handling false threats was also part of their discussion Monday night.

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