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North Alabama schools have increased security one year after shooting in Parkland, Florida

The mass shooting prompted schools across the country to take a second look at security.

Posted: Feb 14, 2019 7:01 PM
Updated: Feb 14, 2019 7:15 PM

February 14, 2019, marks one year since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida where a teen gunman killed 17 people inside a high school.

"You are looking for them to be safe by teachers, friends, everybody who is around them, and the next shocking news you could hear is that they're gone," Yvonne Sinclair, a parent and a grandmother, said.

The mass shooting prompted schools across the country to take a second look at security. In the Tennessee Valley, a lot has changed over the past year.

"School is supposed to be the safest place next to home for your kids," Sinclair said. "I want the best for the children. The very best as a parent and a grandmother."

In the year since the massacre at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, Madison County Schools has set aside $750,000 for security upgrades.
This includes a new security check-in system, indoor and outdoor speakers for better communication, and a single point of entry at all schools. Some schools even have security glass.

One parent says that's not enough.

"Evil always sneaks into the garden," Debrah Durant said.

Durant is a mother of three and says every school needs to be prepared.

"It's not something you can scoot under the rug," Durant said. "It's something we have to educate and say, 'This is going to happen. This is what we're going to do when it happens.'"

The Madison County school district says it holds lockdown safety drills to prepare for the worst, and the sheriff's office gives feedback for improvement. However, Durant says more mental health resources could avoid a shooting in the first place.

"I think it's not just getting them out of the way, but how are we following up? How are we providing counseling for parents with that child? And the teachers and not just scooping it out to somebody else's responsibility," Durant said.

Right now, all Madison County schools have a counselor come in at least once a week. The administrative office says that's an increase from last year.

Though these changes have been made, the district says it's always making improvements.

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