Students at site of deadly Florida school shooting to use clear backpacks
Florida governor also orders several state troopers to patrol Marjory Stoneman Douglas High
When Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students return from spring break, they'll be required by the local school district to use clear backpacks and wear identification badges at all times.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie told parents in a two-page letter about the security changes. It said the backpacks will be given to students at no cost when they return to school on April 2.
Parents district-wide were told reinforced safety protocols will include expediting "single point entry" measures for visitors, locking all classroom doors and upgrading surveillance systems.
Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday also ordered eight state troopers to begin assisting sheriff's deputies in patrolling the high school. The move comes days after the suspect's brother, Zachary Cruz, 18, was arrested there, two other students were caught carrying knives and another made online threats.
Cruz has to post a $500,000 US bond for his trespassing charge.
His attorney said in court documents Thursday there's no justification for such a high bond amount for a misdemeanour. The documents point out that Zachary Cruz already posted the standard $25 bond and should be released.
He was arrested Monday after deputies spotted him riding a skateboard at the school, despite being warned not to visit the campus. A judge imposed the high bond amount and many other restrictions.
Indefinite stay for troopers
The troopers will be stationed at the school indefinitely, along with Broward County deputies, which will allow an armed guard at every campus entrance point.
"Parents, students and teachers have recently endured one of the worst tragedies in Florida history," Scott said. "They must be assured that every necessary step is being taken to increase safety and ensure no unauthorized people are allowed on campus."
Several of the students at the school have been spurred to speak out in the wake of the shooting with a goal to prevent more gun violence, including involvement in a planned March For Our Lives rally in Washington on Saturday.
Parkland students spearheading the rally are featured on the cover of Time magazine's April 2 issue.