Florence One School District talks school safety

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Florence One School District students held a school safety luncheon Friday afternoon in response to the increase in school shootings across the county.

A sophomore class at Wilson High School came up with the idea as their English advocacy project. Sophomore Rebecca Liu said students felt they needed to speak up on the very things that affected them the most.

“It’s a very complex issue. Many people have differing opinions about it. Students are very upset that their voices aren’t heard,” Liu said.

Liu said she remembers the day of the tragic Stoneman Douglas High shooting in Parkland, Fla., just two months ago where 17 people lost their lives.

“I was shocked. I saw so many different videos about it. When I watch the news, I was just horrified,” she said.

Students from all Florence One high schools, district officials and state representatives joined in on the conversation.

Topics ranged from the roles of school resource officers to gun control to the negative impact of social media.

“I think a lot of people would be surprised at just how … how perceptive they were about their role and social media’s role in these incidents,” Florence One School Board Chairman Barry Townsend said.

Ultimately, students and district officials hope what started as a school project will turn into a larger dialogue in the Florence community.

“Unfortunately the time that most of discussion happens are when an event is happening, but this needs to be an ongoing conversation,” Townsend said.

“With this meeting, we’re kind of hoping our voice will be heard. Our choices, our preferences will be also included in state school board meetings and decisions like this,” Liu said.

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