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Deputy Smith discusses how students feel about her new AR-15

Deputy Smith monitors the campus with her AR-15 assault rifle. The rifles are being carried by all school resource deputies as ordered by the Broward Sheriff after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

By Emily Powell, Web and Business Editor

Security measures have been implemented as a result of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14.

Stairwell doors have been and will be remaining locked from the outside, making it harder for possible intruders to get into the building. Those wanting to open the door will have to call a security guard and present a pass.

Locks have also been added to the gates leading into the school. Parking lot gates, bus loop gates, any gate leading onto campus will be locked and only opened if necessary.

ID badges are also expected to be worn since it is a Code of Conduct rule and helps staff determine who really belongs on campus.

School Resource Deputy Stephanie Smith was recently assigned the job to carry around her authorized AR-15 assault rifle, the same kind of rifle that killed 17 innocent people and injured 14 others. The rule was imposed by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel to enforce safety at schools and to make students feel safe again.

“I do feel that students feel safer now that I carry around my AR-15,” Deputy Smith said. “I know that because I ask them as I carry it, and nine out of 10 times students say that they feel safer.”

Other plans to improve security include a fence being built around the perimeter of the campus and more security in the courtyard watching.

“Security and staff are currently working on lots of ideas to make our campus safer,” Deputy Smith said. “Unfortunately, it takes a tragedy before they start to listen.”

Posted: Apr. 6

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