NewsRegion St Lucie County


St. Lucie County schools make improvements after Parkland shooting

Posted at 4:14 PM, Feb 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 17:05:10-05

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. — The Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy one year ago changed the way we look at school safety.

It also changed the way the St. Lucie County Clerk's Office reaches out to the community to keep kids safe.

Principal Lilly Beauchamp and School Resource Deputy Rigo Iglesias walkED the campus of Manatee Academy in Port St. Lucie on Monday. It was a typical busy day, but what if the atypical were to happen?

"Everyone on the emergency response team knows where the bag is located," said Beauchamp, as she stood behind a red canvas bag.

That red bag is the newest item in her office, a go bag in the event of a campus evacuation. It's filled with papers and items that could be needed.

"Our class rosters so if we had to get in touch with parents right away, we would be able to get in touch with each and every parent," said Beauchamp as she pointed at a stack of folders.

"If we have to go, we have to go and we’re not scrambling around looking for rosters and information and plans, we have it all in one bag," said St. Lucie County School Safety Director Chief Brian Reuther.

St. Lucie County Clerk Joseph Smith normally has his staff gearing up this week to perform weddings on Valentine's Day. But not after what happened last year.

"I got in the car after that ceremony and heard about the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and knew we weren’t going to do this a year from now," said Smith "But I thought, how can we be relevant, how can we be helpful to those who are still dealing with the trauma?"

Employees at the Clerk’s office raised the money to put a red go bag in all 38 schools in St. Lucie County.

"Any support we can get from the outside to protect our students is always wanted, always valued," said Superintendent Wayne Gent of the St. Lucie County School District.

The hope is the bags will never be needed, but if they are, school leaders can act quickly, and get your children to safety.