When students return from spring break to the Florida school at the centre of the gun control discussion, they will be required to use clear backpacks, and wear identification badges at all times.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland is on high alert after the brother of Nikolas Cruz — the teen charged with killing 17 people at the school last month — was arrested for trespassing.
Robert Runcie, the superintendent of Broward County Public Schools, told parents about the security changes in a two-page letter.
It said the backpacks would be provided to students at no cost when they returned to school on April 2.
Mr Runcie also said metal detectors may soon be installed at the high school.
But just last month he criticised the security measure, calling it ineffective.
He said “someone is not going to go through a metal detector with an AR-15”, and that metal detectors would be unwelcoming and impractical in a school of more than 3,000 students.
Schools across the district will see reinforced safety protocols, including locking all classroom doors, upgrading surveillance systems and expediting measures to require visitors to enter through a single point of entry.
Nikolas Cruz is charged with killing 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. (Reuters: Susan Stocker/Pool)
“Parents, students and teachers have recently endured one of the worst tragedies in Florida history,” Governor Rick Scott said.
“They must be assured that every necessary step is being taken to increase safety and ensure no unauthorised people are allowed on campus.”
Accused shooter’s brother in custody
Earlier this week, the suspected shooter’s brother was arrested for trespassing on the Parkland school. (AP: Pool South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
The accused shooter’s brother Zachary Cruz remains in custody after being spotted skateboarding on school grounds.
That same day he was arrested, the officer assigned to patrol the campus was suspended after a student found him asleep.
Zachary Cruz had received prior warnings stay away from the campus, but went to the school to “reflect” on the shooting and “soak it in”, he told police.
“[The teen] surpassed all locked doors and gates and proceeded to ride his skateboard through school grounds,” a report said.
An attorney for Zachary Cruz said in court papers on Thursday (local time) that a $US500,000 bond for trespassing at the school was excessive.
Lawyer Joseph Kimok said in the documents the 18-year-old had already paid the standard $25 bond for a misdemeanour and should not be kept in custody.
“Zachary Cruz did not kill 17 people on a high school campus. He should not be treated as if he did,” Mr Kimok wrote.
“There is no justice where the government seeks to hang a man for the crimes of his brother.”
On Friday, Time magazine revealed its latest cover, featuring survivors of the Parkland shooting.
The cover, branded with the word “enough”, comes just days before for the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, where students and their allies will march for better gun control.