SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — School shootings are a tragedy, bringing death and injuries to learning institutions that are meant to be safe havens. The U.S. experiences them more frequently than many other countries.

The state of Georgia currently ranks in the top 10 in the U.S. for the most school shootings according to the World Population Review. The state has had 46 so far and South Carolina has had 27.

As school shootings continue to be a real concern for students, families, school staff and communities, WSAV NOW reached out to school districts to see what measures they are taking to keep students and staff safe.

Understandably, some of the school districts didn’t want to put out too many details on their security to ensure others would not have access to key safety info.

Below is a breakdown on school shooting safety measures for the 2022-23 school year for the following districts that have responded to our request so far: Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, Liberty County School System and Beaufort County School Districts.

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

The district said its highest priority is the safety and security of its students and staff. The Board of Education Police Department is a fully accredited police force that works each and every day to ensure that goal is met. SCCPSS Campus Police Chief Terry Enoch said some initiatives undertaken by his department include:

  • The hardening of targets through steps taken to build security vestibules and other physical and technical security barriers into new and existing school facilities.
  • Recruit more school resource officers and security personnel.
  • Train all school staff on how to respond to an active shooter or any other threats to student and staff safety. 

In addition, all of their schools have walk-through metal detectors and metal detector wands. The schools also hold active shooter drills to familiarize students with the procedures they are to follow in case of a threat, administrators conduct random searches and inspections, and all students are required to be in uniform with a clear or mesh bookbag. 

“These are all steps taken to control what we can in hopes of minimizing any threats to our students and staff, but nothing is foolproof. Our Campus Police conduct threat assessments and conduct training on a regular basis to make certain they are following the most up-to-date safety and security protocols,” said Sheila Blanco, Public Information Manager of SCCPSS.

Liberty County School District

The following are their main security systems that are in place for their Pre-K Center, elementary, middle and high schools: security vestibules, electronic locking system, exterior lighting, open-sight designs allowing for natural surveillance, intrusion detection system, school bus cameras, notification systems, PA systems, two-way radio systems and proxy cards at school entries. (Slim down this list)

The district has also finished projects and will be finishing projects that they already had in place such as adding security vestibules and cameras in schools where they were not previously installed. The cameras in their older buses are being updated as well.

Beaufort County School District

The district said they can’t share specifics about their security measures but they have Senior Resource Officers (SRO’s) at all of their middle and high schools. As the state continues to fund two SROs per year they plan on adding them to elementary schools. In the meantime, there are armed security guards at the elementary schools.