February 14 changed everything.
School security has been under constant scrutiny and internal review across our country since the horrific massacre in Parkland two months ago.
Here in Naples, Florida, we are about 100 miles from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Our parents and community have been asking about every aspect of school safety. We have spent countless hours reviewing our plans. You have as well, I am sure.
Last week, we made a security enhancement. We announced we would be locking the front doors at all 50 school campuses. Early in the afternoon, we sent emails to staff, parents and volunteers. Then we did something never before done here in Collier County. At 4 p.m., we had the superintendent (pictured, top left) and the sheriff (top right) do a Facebook live safety update to announce the door-lock enhancement to our community.
That’s right, we did Facebook Live instead of a press conference. We used our TV studio, and it looked like a breaking news update from a television station. The superintendent did a phone call afterward to answer specific reporter questions, and we sent them a press release after that call.
The sheriff’s office and school district worked together to speak directly to our community using our digital tools. The breaking news was straightforward and did not lead to very many questions.
We will continue to do this, and my hope is it will lead to topics that create engagement with our audience. This was a big step forward in getting everyone comfortable breaking our own news live on social media. Give it a shot! All you need is a phone and a Facebook page.
If you would like to see it for yourself, click this link: https://www.facebook.com/collierschools/videos/1822107881179297/