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Bradford parents, students feeling more secure

7:36 PM, Aug 20, 2013   |    comments
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BRADFORD COUNTY, Fla. -- Lots of security changes are taking place in Bradford County schools this year. From keeping doors locked to knowing who's walking the halls, the changes are a result of an active shooter drill held last week.

"I was shot in the arm and it actually looked really real," said Drew Hildebran.

Hildebran, a seventh grader at Bradford Middle School, took part in the drill, as did several dozen parents, students and teachers. The drill took a good hard look at security at the school and Hildebran said it was pretty eye-opening.

"If something really does go down, we do need to have some kind of plan," he said.

Starke Police Chief Jeff Johnson was at the drill. He couldn't get into specifics, but he said because of what leaders saw, it's now harder for anyone to get into a classroom with kids inside. Someone's always watching the halls, even the Internet.

"It's the importance of the safety of the kids while they're goin to school - they're supposed to be able to go to school and be safe," Johnson said.

Something Hildebran's mom thinks is happening now because of the drill.

"I think they're safer now than they were last week," she said.

"Was we short some places? Absolutely. But we're moving forward," Johnson said.

But from Chief Jeff Johnson to the students, everyone agrees there's still work to do.

"I learned there are some places in this school that need to be closed off," Drew Hildebran said.

And he said now that deputies know, he feels safer.

"Now I know that they know where to look -- everywhere -- they look everywhere," he said.

Chief Johnson said even though it happened at the last minute, the drill could someday save lives.

"Last Tuesday was an eye opening experience. God forbid we have to go through something like that. But if we do, I feel this community is prepared," Johnson said.

First Coast News

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