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Bay County School Principal Discusses Safety, Technology and Staffing

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PANAMA CITY — Nearly 26,000 Bay County students brightly returned to their classrooms early Wednesday morning.

As the children started their first assignments and got to know their teachers, Bay District school officials attended multiple schools, checked in and joined in on the excitement of their first day.

Principal Bill Husfelt stopped by Southport Elementary to discuss school safety, new technology and staff issues, which are top priorities for the new school year.

Officials have been preparing for the middle school year over the summer, and Fussfeldt is very proud of how much effort they’ve put in.

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“The school is perfect. Every year so much work is done to prepare for school and it is a team effort,” said Hassfeldt. “This is not one person, it’s a team. I’m proud of our school and our leadership and that we’re doing everything it takes to make sure our kids have a great first day.”

Patronis Elementary welcomed students to the first day of classes on Wednesday. Kindergarten teacher Cynthia Bynes reads to her students on the first day of class.

school safety

Going into the new year, Husfeldt said one of his main priorities is to make schools safer.

Following the May 24 shooting in Uvalde, Texas, BDS officials increased security measures on campus by adding armed guards, locking systems, and cameras.

“We inspect schools. We do spot checks to make sure all gates are locked and classroom doors are locked,” said Hassfeldt. “We have a great partnership with Sheriff Tommy Ford and his team. We have tried to do everything we can to make sure the campus is safe and secure.”

After Gov. Ron DeSantis signed HB 1421, which was intended to improve school safety and implement the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, BDS officials announced that the school will be reopened on June 8. held a press conference to discuss its safety plan.

Other safety measures include the Bay County Sheriff’s Office’s two major programs, the School Guard Program and the Guardian Program.

Patronis Elementary School student Bryce Chapman watches the first day of her school coloring assignment in her kindergarten class on Wednesday.

The School Guard Program is an alert system that school administrators and certain teachers have on their mobile phones to alert law enforcement directly in the event of a shooting incident.

The Guardian program requires certain teachers, staff, and administrators to undergo the same active shooter training as law enforcement and carry guns on campus after completing six weeks of vigorous training over the summer. can do.