School-Turned-Shelter Following Hurricanes Patrolled by National Guard, Security Officers

School-Turned-Shelter Following Hurricanes Patrolled by National Guard, Security Officers

Arnold High School is sheltering displaced families following area hurricanes.

Nearly 400 people displaced from regional hurricanes have taken refuge at Arnold High School in Panama City Beach, Fla. Students who normally attend Arnold High have been campus-sharing with a nearby middle school, but are still able to use the gym and theatre facilities on campus, leading to the increased security at the school. 

"It's easy to say security is a priority but we're trying to put our money where our mouth is and hire enough folks to provide that type of security," said Bay District School Board Vice President Steve Moss. 

Arnold High currently being patrolled by the National Guard and the Bay County Sheriff's Department. Also lending a hand are the Bay District School's deputies. 

The National Guard and deputies patrol the hallways of the school where displaced families are staying. The gym and theatre on campus have been reserved for students who are needing to practice between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. each weekday.

Athletic Director Rick Green explained to a local news station that coaches work with security personnel to determine which teenagers are students at the school and help to regulate perimeter security when students are practicing.

Green says opening up the gym and theatre is a way to help students get back into the swing of things.

"I can't image what it would be like for a kid to go through this," Green said. "They need that normal activity back. Well, this is normal for them to be here."

The campus is expected to only home displaced families until Dec. 31. After that, the campus will return to normal, but Green says they will most likely keep some of the increased security measures.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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