Board Statement on School Security

  • February 26, 2024

    Below is the statement read by Vice Chairman Neil James after the Executive Session at the February 26, 2024, Horry County Board of Education meeting. 

    “The Horry County Board of Education and the District’s administration prioritize the safety and well-being of both our students and staff. We are tasked with providing a safe and secure learning environment for all of our schools, and that is what we have done and what we will continue to do. 

    We also will continue to implement the security recommendations made by the School Safety Advisory Council (SSAC), the entity hired by the Board of Education to audit the safety and security of all 56 HCS school campuses in the fall of 2022. As a reminder, only the security upgrades that do not compromise the safety and security of our campuses can be shared with the public.

    In addition to implementing the SSAC safety recommendations, we are in the process of exploring options for upgrading our metal detection systems.  Last week, district staff visited the Greenville County School District, the state’s largest school district, and our neighboring district, the Georgetown County School District, to observe their weapons detection systems. The results of both of those site visits were discussed in tonight’s executive session and may not be disclosed to the public. 

    For the sake of expediency, a group consisting of district staff, principals and assistant principals representing the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and a law enforcement official will meet to review demonstrations by vendors of their weapons detection products and make a product recommendation(s) on or about March 18, 2024. In addition to upgrading metal detection equipment, in the upcoming budget cycle, staff is requesting one additional security person at each middle and high school to reduce some search duty for school staff. This person would search individuals entering a school after the school day has begun.

    As a reminder, we encourage parents and guardians to talk with their students about reporting anything they see or hear that could cause harm to our school community. We also suggest that parents be involved and know what items their students are bringing to school and what is being shared and posted on their students’ social media accounts.  We ask our citizens who are gun owners to be responsible gun owners by making sure their weapons are stored safely, out of the reach of children. 

    We appreciate your support on this important safety issue.”