PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Texas school shooting cast a dark cloud over the last day of school in Bay County on Wednesday.
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office and Bay District Schools weren’t taking any chances when it comes to security on the last day of school after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas.
The shooting killed 19 students and two teachers.
“I have no doubt though the stories are going to come out that those teachers in that classroom stood in front of that shooter trying to protect their children,” Bay District Schools Superintendent, Bill Husfelt said.
After Tuesday’s mass shooting, Bay District Schools had more sheriff’s deputies present on campus on the last day of school.
Husfelt said he feels mental health is a big part of this conversation.
“I think it’s the major issue that’s got to be addressed it has been for many years just not paid attention to and people want to blame guns and all that and I understand that I’m not gonna argue with people about that,” Husfelt said. “But, almost every one of these situations there’s not a father in the home, the family’s got some kind of break up, or dysfunctionality going on I mean we deal with it daily with our children.”
Bay County Sheriff, Tommy Ford, said the school district made safety changes after the Parkland shooting, including the Guardian Program.
“We have a very robust guardian program which means we have trained teachers and administrators to carry firearms on campus,” Ford said. “That is not an easy program they actually have to score higher on the law enforcement basic recruit firearms program than a law enforcement officer coming out into the field.”
Husfelt said he feels mental health not only plays a part in the deadly school shooting but also with other behavior issues district-wide this school year.
Between school fights, COVID-19 complications and residual Hurricane Michael issues, he’s hoping for a normal school year this fall.
“I was thinking about that. I thought we started out the school year beginning with a surge in COVID, mask, don’t mask, whatever and we’re ending with terrible weather so I mean it’s just been another one of those years,” Husfelt said. “Hopefully the good lord will allow us one just great normal school year next year because we haven’t had a normal school year in four years.”
Sheriff Ford said the increased presence of deputies was not due to any threats made toward a meeting.