Oconee Co. school district holds first parents meeting to address safety

OCONEE, SC (FOX Carolina) –

The Oconee County School District held its first parents meeting at Seneca High School to discuss how recent events, particularly school shootings, have affected their schools and students.

Parents were invited to an open question and answer session with school administration and school resource officers, and they had a variety of concerns and questions.

One parent asked administrators why there has not been a code red drill for Seneca High school.

A code red drill is meant to allow students to practice for emergency situations.

Administrators responded by saying Seneca High Schools code red drill was scheduled for the day after the Florida school shooting, and because of that they decided to reschedule it to avoid causing a school wide panic.

Other concerns included communication and how parents would like to be contacted if and when something does happen.

“I’m just thinking when we do send out a message to the parents can we make sure it’s clear so we can get the right message to begin with because communication is key,” said another Oconee County school parent.

Many parents say they came to the meeting not to help them feel more safe, but to help their students feel more safe at school.

Another parent shared the following story during the meeting:

“I dropped him off (her grandson) I said goodbye he turned around and looked at me and I had this terrible feeling and I went home and I said ‘oh no’ I went back to the school and picked them back up because I just didn’t feel safe he was afraid to go in and I was afraid to let him go”.

Another popular topic of the meeting involved how students are getting weapons into school, and how to stop it.

A parent asked is there was anything in place or any conversation going on about how to respond to metal detectors and no book bags.

Amongst the crowd was a Clemson University police officer who also has students in the district, and he made a suggestion to administrators.

That parent suggested that schools require clear book bags. He referenced the clear bag policy at Clemson football games. “If you can have 85,000 people all abide by that rule why can’t we have clear book bags at school?”

It’s a suggestion that administrators say they will take into consideration.

There will be two more parent meetings for Oconee County schools.

The next one will be on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Walhalla High School, and the third will be Monday at 6 p.m. at West Oak High School.

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