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School leaders revisit security procedures after mass shooting in Florida

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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) -

The school shooting in Florida has officials in Louisiana revisiting policies designed to prevent such tragedies.

Local school officials have taken a number of steps but say more may need to be done.

"Disappointment, despair, frustration. I'm upset for the people, the families," said Doris Voitier, superintendent of St. Bernard Parish schools.

School security is once again on a lot of people's minds.  Post Katrina, St. Bernard parish rebuilt all schools with security in mind.

"Single point of entry. People have to go through administrative offices and through another locked door," said Voitier.

In Jefferson Parish, taxpayers spent millions to retrofit schools with all doors locked and one entry point, where visitors have to be buzzed in.

"After Sandy Hook, we installed fences, and then did a single point of entry," said Larry Dale with the Jefferson Parish School Board.

Jefferson and St. Bernard also say they hold active shooter drills on a regular basis.

"What we learned is you need to get there quickly and enter...Get in quick. You've got to eliminate that threat," said St. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jimmy Pohlmann.

St. Bernard also gave principals radios to talk directly with responding officers in a tragedy. Sheriff's deputies have blueprints of every school, and the school system partnered with LSU disaster management to fine tune safety protocols.

"They have sniper protocols set up on our buildings so they know where to go," said Voitier.

With so many lives being lost, some say it’s time to get more aggressive.

"We should be allowed to do more. If people get mad, I'd rather them get mad then have something killed," said Pohlmann.

The  St. Bernard school superintendent said what happened in Florida once again points out the need to constantly update security plans.

"I think those protocols should be investigated more intensely and those security audits should be taking place," said Voitier.

The Orleans Parish School Board issued a statement saying it has crisis plans in place at all public schools, and they are updated annually. They also say they recently entered into a partnership with NOPD to increase active shooter training at schools.

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