The Broward School Board expects to approve new policies designed to correct security failures identified after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High.
A new policy on Code Red and other emergency codes is up for a final vote today, as is a policy requiring schools to identify spaces for students to hide in the event of an active shooter.
Members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission criticized Superintendent Robert Runcie in November for not having enacted these policies already and accused him of lacking urgency. He pledged to start working immediately on the policies.
The Stoneman Douglas gunman was halfway through his six-minute rampage before anyone issued a “Code Red,” signaling an immediate danger requiring students to hide behind locked doors. As a result, some students were caught in hallways and killed.
Although the commission found that no one was specifically told not to issue the alert, there was confusion about whose job that was.
Under the proposed policy any staff member must call a Code Red “should they see, hear, or smell anything that may immediately impact the safety and security of any staff, students, or visitors on campus.”
They would not be disciplined if the potential threat turns out to be a false alarm.
The second policy requires schools identify “hard corners” or “safer spaces,” which are spots out of the line of vision of a gunman looking through the window of a classroom door.
A security expert had recommended these at Stoneman Douglas a few weeks before the shooting, but they were only in effect in a few classrooms on Feb. 14, 2018. Some hard corners had clutter in them at the time of the shooting.
The policy assigns the district’s new chief of safety, security and emergency procedure to identify procedures for identifying these. Principals would work with their school resource officers or other safety experts to determine the best places in each classroom.
The corners will be marked by little emblems that look like houses or corners with people underneath them. Some classrooms at Stoneman Douglas and Charles Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines have already have these painted on the walls.
The meeting is being webcast live on the district’s website.
This is a developing story. Check back for more information.