MAYO — Utilizing state funding for security upgrades, there is now just one way onto the Lafayette High School campus.

In January, the Lafayette County Schools received $100,000 through the Florida Safe School Hardening Grant, part of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act, to provide a secure single-point entry for LHS.

Lafayette School District’s Director of Safety and Mental Health Gerald Powers said prior to the grant, the gates at the high school could be used for entry directly to the campus courtyard.

That meant staff in the front office had to constantly watch the courtyard to ensure those entering campus checked in at the office prior to accessing other buildings on campus.

Now, the gates to the courtyard are locked, preventing entry onto campus following the sounding of the bell to start class.

The gates may still be used to exit campus, however entry and re-entry must be made through the secure single point entry at the front office, through a walkway into the alcove leading into the office. The secure single point entry is constructed with bullet resistant glass, as well as an electronic lock that is operated by front office staff to allow entry into the office in order to access campus once someone has been cleared for entry.

To be cleared, visitors must state their business for being on LHS campus, providing their government form of ID (driver’s license/ identification card) to front office staff to run through their database.

Once cleared, visitors then are given a visitor’s pass that must be located on their person at all times while on LHS grounds. LHS staff has been trained to look for this pass and it helps staff ensure the safety of the students is not at risk.

Powers said LHS takes the safety of its students very seriously and have gone above and beyond with implementing security measures to help prevent mass casualties from being directed towards the students.

Lafayette Elementary School has a single point entry that has been implemented on campus, and Powers said plans for designing the single point entry to be engineered into a secure single point entry will be implemented during the summer of 2020.

Kara M. Compo is a reporter for the Suwannee Democrat, Jasper News and Mayo Free Press. Her beats include general assignment, government and police. ​

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you