CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston County School District is giving an update on its security policies amid calls from local lawmakers to discuss safety.
Michael Reidenbach, the Executive Director of Security and Emergency Management for CCSD, outlined current security measures during Monday’s Committee of the Whole Meeting. CCSD’s safety measures can be found here.
During the update, Board Chair Reverend Dr. Eric Mack acknowledged weapons are being brought to school and asked how this could be prevented.
Reidenbach responded, saying the Random Search and Safety team is looking at implementing new technology to enhance their impact. Another board member asked how officials randomly choose who is being searched.
Reidenbach said it is a blind selection. He explained each high school classroom is assigned a number that is randomly picked.
“We don’t know what class is going to be in there that period. We don’t even know at that point what date has been selected. The date selection comes later, but we have a formula that was used to ensure that the frequency of searches across the schools is consistent,” said Reidenbach.
According to security officials, they have rolled out a tip line for students to use this past year. The security team was also asked about bullet-proof doors. Officials said they piloted three doors, three years ago, but they were not recommended as they would’ve cost $24 million to install in every district classroom.
This discussion among CCSD leaders comes a week after South Carolina Rep. Wendell Gilliard wrote a letter to district officials asking to meet with them to discuss safety in schools. Gilliard stated he visited multiple schools and found areas that need improving.
Gilliard met with staff at one school, about a door that was left open. On Monday, Gilliard told News 2 he received a letter from CCSD Superintendent Don Kennedy saying the district is open to ideas from him and other members of the Legislative Delegation. The superintendent agreed to meet and said they are always looking for ways to harden security protocols.
“We can’t put anything to chance. Whether it’s metal detectors, whether it’s getting more parents responsible for everyday lives of our children, whether it’s getting with the school resources and just utilizing everything we have at our discretion,” said Gilliard.
According to Gilliard, they are in the process of planning a meeting.