Orange County leaders talk school safety plans ahead of first day

District debuts videos that discuss dangers of school threats, vaping

By Mark Lehman - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County school leaders and law enforcement officers are spreading a message of safety ahead of the first day of school on Monday.

In a news conference Friday, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins talked about what she described as a successful two-day active shooter drill in July.

"We hope we'll never have to use those emergency procedures, but we have to be prepared," Jenkins said.

[RELATED: Dozens of agencies participate in school active shooter trainingSchool district's active shooter training focuses on student reunification]

A message was also sent to students to take "code red" drills seriously and to be aware of additional metal detectors on middle school campuses.

"All day, you are subject to search and to scanning for anything that is inappropriate to have on campus," Jenkins said.

The district debuted two code of conduct videos, which they said will be required viewing for all students this school year.

The videos address the dangers of vaping and the consequences of making threats against a school, even if the student says it's just a joke.

"The code of conduct videos are impressive and, I think, are going to go a long way towards our students who think it's funny to pose these kind of threats," Sheriff John Mina said.

District leaders said they are increasing their social media monitoring for signs of cyberbullying and threats.

Students were also encouraged to use the Fortify Florida app, which allows anyone to anonymously report a problem within the school.

When classes begin Monday, more than 900 buses will be on the streets in Orange County, according to the district.

School leaders asked parents to consider having their students ride a bus on the first day of school to allow the district to condense bus routes.

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