Students and Teachers Return to School in Several South Florida Counties Wednesday

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What to Know

  • Over 1,200 buses left the facility in Broward before 6 a.m., complete with new radio systems and some with new GPS technology.

Students and teachers across several South Florida counties could not hit that snooze button on Wednesday as the first day of classes for the 2019-20 school year got underway.

Buses rolled out across Broward and Monroe to start off the school year – one that sees a new wave of technology aimed to keep students safe just under two years after the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Over 1,200 buses left the facility in Broward before 6 a.m., complete with new radio systems and some with new GPS technology, to take over 77,000 students to their schools.

“It’s game day,” said Broward schools superintendent Robert Runcie as he visited the bus depot in Pembroke Pines.

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The Broward Sheriff’s Office unveiled a center on Tuesday that will allow live monitoring and analysis of what’s going on in school hallways and campuses in Broward County.

“We learned lessons from Stoneman Douglas,” said Sheriff Gregory Tony. “And one of the pivotal things is one of the things we were able to witness and look at is the ability to have real time intelligence when crimes are happening.”

The Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) gives BSO direct access to nearly 10,000 cameras in more than 260 public schools and administrative buildings.

“This opportunity allows us to leverage those assets and security so this partnership is about collaboration, leveraging technology we have in the district,” said Runcie.

For those with the job of making sure students get between school and home safely, it’s all about being both authoritative and friendly.

“When they get on the bus, you try to greet them with a smile and say good morning,” said driver Darriel Davis. “You listen to that feed back and you can tell if they had a bad day or a bad night and you just try.”

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