The safety of our students and staff is the top priority at Greenville County Schools. Our district employs professional safety and security personnel, has comprehensive prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery plans, and utilizes safety protocols in all of our schools. We continually work to develop and implement these in partnership with our schools, law enforcement, and the community.
It is standard practice in GCS that any time there is an incidence in our district or a significant event within the country, we review our security plans and our emergency response plans, in general, to see if there is something that may enhance the safety and security of students and staff moving forward.
GCS Safety and Security – Overview
GCS Safety and Security – Serious Incident
Details of our security protocols must remain confidential to maintain their effectiveness, but we can share information about the following safety and security measures:
- Locked Doors & Ignore the Door: All doors to our schools and buildings remain locked, and we educate students and staff to Ignore the Door and not open if someone outside tries to enter from anywhere other than the main entrance.
- Emergency Plans: Every school has Emergency Plans to respond to a wide range of possible emergencies, including fire, bomb threats, severe storms, and active shooters. They were built on a National Response Model that uses the framework of the National Incident Management System (NIMS), in cooperation with law enforcement and emergency management personnel. Practice drills are conducted throughout the year, both announced and unannounced.
- SROs and Law Enforcement: GCS has a strong partnership with local law enforcement that includes an Office of School Enforcement, staffed with Greenville County Sheriff’s Office deputies. Every middle and high school has at least one School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to and housed at the school. Zoned Security Patrols visit every elementary school and center several times during the school day and randomize those visits so they are not predictable. The law enforcement agencies that support our schools are trained for a rapid response to an active threat and to immediately enter and engage the threat.
- Testing Building Security: Law enforcement officers conduct unannounced security breach tests on schools and provide the results to the district. Additionally, the district employs four full-time security specialists who are evaluating security on an ongoing basis.
- Arrival/Dismissal Procedures and Monitoring: Entrances to our buildings are monitored on an ongoing basis and with heightened vigilance during arrival, dismissal, and special events.
- Secure Capture Areas: All school lobbies have secure capture areas to restrict visitor access to the building until cleared for entry.
- Access Control System: The district utilizes an access control system, which requires authorized badges and card readers to access the buildings and allows for that access to be adjusted rapidly as needed.
- Security Cameras: All locations have security cameras that can be accessed by the Sheriff’s Office (GCSO), personnel in the district office, and at our UL-approved security monitoring station.
- Weapons Detection System: Starting with the 2022-23 school year, a new weapons detection system will be used on a random, rotating basis around the district during the school day and at events. The system is a more current and superior technology compared to traditional metal detectors.
- Gaggle: The district utilizes an online system that monitors content, detects potential threats, and activates appropriate response protocols.
- See Something, Say Something: The single most effective preventative tool regarding school safety and security is the See Something, Say Something protocol, which every school in GCS utilizes. It is critically important that if students see or hear something that is concerning, they say something to a trusted adult or report it by clicking the See Something. Say Something graphic.
If you have more specific questions, please contact your school’s principal or the district’s Service Center at 864-355-3100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.