DILLON, SC (WBTW) – Students across the country speak out for stricter gun laws and better school security.
Dillon School District Four students, staff and administration say they feel the effects of the Parkland, Florida shooting last week where 17 people were shot and killed.
“Last week, [in Florida] scared a lot of people… it scared me,” said Dillon High School Senior Jacorie McCall. “You don’t feel the school is a learning environment when things like this happen. You think it’s more of a battlefield..”
The Assistant Superintendent Dr. Polly Elkins says the district stepped up its ID badge requirement this year.
Dr. Elkins sent this email to all school leaders at the beginning of the year:
“Dillon School District Four is requiring Dillon High School, Lake View High School and Dillon Middle School wear ID badges. This is stated in the discipline code book. This is imperative that we work toward getting each child and personnel wearing an ID badge this year. This school year all staff and students need to have name badges no later than the first week of school.”
McCall says this is a great step to keep track of students.
“It’s one thing that is enforced and if you don’t be it you will be punished for breaking the rules,” he said.
Now he wants more technology included for even better security.
“One thing our school has done is we’ve made sure that the administration is in the hallways at all times checking badges but they can’t do everything with 900 students,” he explained. “You go to places like Great Wolfe Lodge or several of the YMCAs you have a badge or a code to get you into the building. One thing I would like to have is a barcode that every student can click in for them to enter it. Or so something that colleges have where you can swipe your badge so you can get into a class.”
Elkins says the district encourages student involvement and have already started looking into security upgrades but face unique obstacles for schools built in the 1950 and 1960s.
“That’s our next step but that costs money. So we need money from the state to fund this for the safety of our kids,” said Elkins.
Elkins says this year the district hopes to:
1. Install cameras and intercoms on the front doors
2. Install magnetic doors (one school will be selected as a pilot school)
3. Recruit more School Resource Officers
Elkins says student safety is the top priority.
“Our students are an investment in our society, therefore, we need to invest in our schools,” said Elkins.
McCall is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Friday morning at 7:30 am the group will host a ‘Prayer at the Post,’ In front of Dillon High School.
Students, clergy and community members are invited to pray for the country and district.
“I hope all of Pee Dee areas take the initiative to say prayer and God is in your school. He can come in the place as a servant and hide behind the title of student, teacher or administrator,” said McCall. “You have to let your light shine or things like this, gun violence, will continue to happen. The only way we can do this is by placing the light of Jesus in our daily lives and our schools.”
Elkins says school staff and administration support the students.
“They have to have a voice. Why not let it be a voice to Christ first? Then we can include everything else that needs to be done,” She concludes.