In wake of deadly shooting, graduation security stepped up in Orleans, Jefferson parishes

Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 3:13 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After a grandmother was killed in a shooting outside of a high school graduation ceremony on May 31, security efforts are being ramped up in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes.

New Orleans police officers, security details, and a metal detector greeted visitors to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. High’s graduation on Fri., June 3.

“It was full of security inside,” guest Angela Morrero said.

Police and guards were stationed at the 9th Ward school after a triple shooting at Morris Jeff High School’s graduation on Xavier University’s campus left an 80-year-old grandmother dead earlier in the week.

Family members identified the woman that died as the result of the crossfire as Augustine...
Family members identified the woman that died as the result of the crossfire as Augustine Greenwood, 80.(Fox 8)

School staff, students, and family members welcomed the increased security measures.

“It was more comforting. Even though we are graduating in our auditorium we still needed the extra security just because of the things that were happening around the city with graduations,” teacher Zedric Jones said. “Like the Boy Scouts say, ‘You can’t be too prepared.’ You rarely even noticed (the guards) were there in the auditorium.”

“I saw like about 10 police, real police in there. The security was real great,” Morrero said.

With the added security, some people said it helped keep the focus on why loved ones were there - to celebrate the graduates.

“It’s really a good time for them to make that transition from high school to college, to vocational school, or whatever their plans are for the future,” Dr. Dawn Williams said.

Guests at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. High’s graduation say they were comforted by the safety efforts and Jefferson Parish school officials say they want to have that same feeling at their graduation ceremonies.

Jefferson Parish Public Schools have seven total graduations this weekend.

In a statement, officials say all attendees will have to pass through metal detectors. No gift bags or boxes will be allowed inside. Only clear or small clutch bags are allowed.

They say they understand how special the ceremonies are and New Orleans educators echo those sentiments.

“This is a milestone for these young people because this is the beginning of the next phase of their life. It’s really a great time for them to make that transition,” Williams said.

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