HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County Schools is reassuring students, parents, and staff of safety measures in place in the district after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas.
The district said metal detectors are installed at each of its middle and high schools with armed officers at every school.
Students and staff take part in active shooter drills, and the district said it’s heavily investing in mental health with the addition of more counselors for the next school year.
“As our student population grows, the need is growing,” district spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said. “And the caseload of counselors is growing, so we are also adding additional counselors to our payroll for next school year as well to make sure that we are helping our students as best we can and our families if they are going through certain struggles that we can assist them with.”
Bourcier said the district also works closely with law enforcement to identify and investigate any and all threats. She said students and parents are vigilant when it comes to safety.
“We are very fortunate to have students and parents come forward,” Bourcier said. “They may see something that they think — and they don’t hold back. They let us know. We encourage that and we have been encouraging that. It happens on almost a weekly basis that we are hearing from parents and students about certain concerns that they see or have heard in the hallways.”
Bourcier said school safety is everyone’s job.
“It’s not uncommon that we get a tip or they notify us or we notify them at 11 p.m. and they’re knocking on the door of a student at midnight to make sure they don’t have access to weapons and to find out more information that potentially they have shared on social media,” Bourcier said. “So we do take things seriously and we have to.”
The district has anonymous tip lines and emails set up for anyone to report a potential threat.