Memorial, security upgrades coming to Santa Fe HS for upcoming school year

By Leigh Frillici - Reporter

SANTA FE, Texas - Santa Fe High School is implementing additional security measures in order to beef up safety before school starts on Aug. 20.

“This is an additional entry area that's been reconfigured to allow for metal detectors,” said Dr. Leigh Wall, the superintendent of Santa Fe Independent School District. “Metal detectors were approved recently, so there will be four metal detectors that the public will go through and students will go through in the mornings.”

In addition, there will be metal detectors on the side and back of the school where students enter and exit.

There will also be additional offices and counselors on hand to help emotionally support students.

“We also will be increasing and adding secure alarms in the doors, additional locks for the classroom doors, as well as fire alarm panic buttons in the classrooms,” Wall said.

The school board added more security measures to their schools after the devastating May 18 Santa Fe High School shooting that claimed 10 lives.

Since the shooting, mourners transformed the green space in front of the high school into a memorial with crosses for each victim, flowers and mementos.

Family members were asked to take what they wanted.

“I think most of the families wanted those crosses,” Wall said.

What was left was cleared away on Wednesday. The space is now ready for a permanent memento.

Wall said the district has donations toward a memorial, but they need to sit down and decide what they want to do.

“We want to put (a memorial) to honor those students and teachers and families,” Wall said.

Here's a statement from the high school:

"Immediately following the Santa Fe High School shooting event on 5/18/2018, an individual donated crosses in memory of each of the lives lost. The crosses were placed in front of the campus. The donation was made with a request that the crosses remain in front of the school for approximately 45 days; however, his ultimate goal was for his donation to go to the families. In order to fulfill his request and because some of the victim’s parents requesting a time to do so, the district contacted the victim’s families to inform them that the crosses were available when they were ready to receive them. Families expressed appreciation for the contact as they were looking forward to having the crosses as a personal memorial. A group of these parents organized a time that they wished to personally pick them up from the site. A sign will be erected in their place indicating the district’s intent to have a permanent SF Strong memorial. A district committee comprised of students, parents, and staff will consider options for a permanent memorial to memorialize the lives lost."

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