A dance scheduled for tonight at SanLee Middle School in Sanford will have attendees pass through a metal detector after a student found a threatening note about the event at the school this morning, SanLee Principal Betsy Bridges announced on social media.
According to Bridges, the student informed a school employee of the note, and administration and the school’s resource officer did not find the note to be a “credible threat” after an investigation.
“Out of an abundance of caution, at the dance tonight, we will have additional security and adult supervision. This will include having attendees pass through a metal detector upon entry,” Bridges wrote today. “However, we wanted to make you aware of the threat and our investigation, so that you may make the decision you think best for your child’s participation.”
The incident and heightened awareness of threats big and small are, of course, coming on the heels of last week’s shooting at a high school in Florida that killed 17 students, teachers and administration. The mass shooting has again spurred a national debate on gun control and school safety — its steam already lasting longer than previous “cycles” after similar shootings in Las Vegas and Connecticut.
Lee County Sheriff Tracy Carter has been active on social media since the shooting, writing about school safety and the county’s efforts to station more “armed and trained school resource officers” at local schools.
“Having school resource officers on point at our schools every day interacting with students and staff and protecting our schools is something that is very important to me,” Carter wrote on Feb. 16. “In my budget proposal this year, I will be asking our county commissioners to fund an additional school resource officer for each high school in Lee County. I will also be requesting funding for SROs to cover our private schools in Lee County.”
Carter and Lee County Schools Superintendent Andy Bryan co-authored a note for the community this week encouraging parents and students to speak out when possible threats arise.
“If you see something, say something seems like a simple slogan, but it is important,” they wrote. “If you or your child see any suspicious behavior in or around our schools, please report it immediately to our school and law enforcement authorities. And the same thing goes for any threats on social media. Please do not sit idle, thinking someone else will do it. Don’t message or email it to someone, MAKE THE CALL!”