All students at the Florida high school where a gunman killed 17 people last month will be required to carry see-through backpacks, school officials have said.
Robert W. Runcie, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, sent a letter to the families of Stoneman Douglas High students imposing the new backpack rule.
The New York Times described it as being ‘reminiscent of security measures at airports and professional sports venues’.
Officials say see-through backpacks will help them to stop weapons from being concealed
The priority is to prevent another atrocity from ruining people’s lives, officials say
Students and staff also will be in due course be issued with identification badges which they will be required to wear at all times while in school
Runcie said any student without a clear backpack would be provided one at no cost after spring break, which takes place next week.
His letter said that every public school in Broward county will be reduced to a single entry for visitors by the start of 2019.
Furthermore he said the county would receive $8.5 million from the state to post at least one school resource officer in every school and $6 million to expand mental health services next school year.
Officials are eager to provide maximum protection at schools following the massacre and recent arrests of two students for carrying knives.
Nikolas Cruz (center) has been arraigned in relation to the shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school
A Florida judge entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Cruz at a recent court hearing
The 19-year-old suspected gunman kept his head lowered and remained silent during the hearing
Students and staff also will be issued identification badges, Runcoe said, which they will be required to wear at all times while in school.
He said that in addition the introduction of metal-detecting wands at school was being considered, along with permanent metal detectors at entrances – even though he recently criticized this as ineffective.
A person intent on committing an atrocity would find his or her way around them, he said in an interview last month.
The move was announced after law enforcement officers also took steps to prevent Zachary Cruz, the younger brother of Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz, from having access to guns through the use of a new Florida law implemented in the aftermath of the massacre.
Broward County Judge Jack Tuter on Wednesday granted a temporary risk protection order against the 18-year-old.
The order prohibits Cruz from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition following his arrest Monday for trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where his older brother carried out the mass killings, CNN reported.
Zachary Cruz, center, the brother of the Florida school shooting suspect, appears via closed circuit television from jail on Tuesday to face charges of trespassing on the grounds of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Zachary Cruz has been prevented from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition following his arrest Monday
Rocxanne Deschamps during a news conference in New York on Wednesday – Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooting suspect, lived with Deschamps for a while after his mother’s death – she said she did all she could could to warn law enforcement about the danger he posed
On Saturday, students from Parkland, Florida, will join their peers and like-minded Americans on the National Mall for the first-ever March for Our Lives to push for gun control
Zachary Cruz has been ordered to wear an ankle monitor, with a final risk protection order hearing scheduled for April 3, when the judge will decide whether to bar Cruz from having guns for an extended period.
On Wednesday the woman who looked after shooter Nikolas Cruz before he murdered 17 people broke her silence to describe him as ‘a troubled young man’.
Rocxanne Deschamps told a news conference in New York that Cruz once put a gun to his mother’s head, displayed a deep affection for military-style guns and behaved so frighteningly that her family called 911 three times.
It was the first time she has publicly discussed what was happening at her home near Lantana when Nikolas and his brother Zachary lived with her and her family, sun-sentinel.com reported.
Deschamps said she forbade Cruz from having guns in her house and ‘begged’ him to see a doctor to be treated for the depression he suffered after his mother’s death.
‘I did everything I could to warn law enforcement about what could happen,’ she said, reading from a written statement and dabbing her eyes.
‘I wanted to protect, not only my own children, but also anyone else who might be at risk of being harmed.
‘I also wanted to protect Nikolas from himself. Unfortunately, although I did everything I could, I was not able to stop this tragedy from taking place.’
Former first lady Michelle Obama (left) and President Barack Obama (right) sent a hand-written letter to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School praising them for ‘awaken[ing] the conscience of the nation’ on the topic of gun control
Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday penned a letter to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heralding them for their efforts to get new gun laws passed.
‘We wanted to let you know how inspired we have been by the resilience, resolve and solidarity that you have shown in the wake unspeakable tragedy,’ the former first couple wrote the young people, according to Mic.
‘Not only have you supported and comforted each other, but you’ve helped awaken the conscience of the nation, and challenged decision-makers to make the safety of our children the country’s top priority.’
On Saturday, students from Parkland, Florida, will join their peers and like-minded Americans on the National Mall for the first-ever March for Our Lives to push for gun control.