New Horry County Schools will get bulletproof glass

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The five newly-constructed Horry County Schools will get bulletproof glass, according to School Board Chairman Joe DeFeo. In the past, local students and parents have expressed concerns with the lack of bulletproof glass in the new schools.

The new schools as far as them getting bulletproof glass, I can’t tell you when, why, or how it’s being installed. But that was always on the books as getting it," DeFeo said.

DeFeo says Saint James Intermediate, Socastee Elementary and Myrtle Beach, Ten Oaks, and Socastee Middle Schools will get a layer of bullet proof glass on some of their windows.

 “It’s done after the fact, it’s a film that’s going over the current glass,” DeFeo explained. “It’s important to do everything we can. When you design a new school you design it with some features that obviously other schools do not have, and it was design with this feature in order to help protect students.”

When WMBF News spoke to school contractor Robbie Ferris back in December, Ferris said that the schools did not have bulletproof glass and he did not mention plans to add it in later, but DeFeo said it was always part of the project.

 “It was with the original contractor," he said. "I think there were some decisions the superintendent made to put stronger protection that might have already been in there, but it’s all within the budget."

As far as the 47 other schools in the county, Defeo said he would like for them to also have bulletproof glass, but it would be a lengthy and expensive process.

“In the older schools, we’d have to change the glass out because the glass has to be a certain type,” he said.

Adding bulletproof glass to the other schools isn’t on the table right now, and won’t be discussed at the next School Board meeting, but DeFeo said the board will talk about other security measures at Monday night's meeting.

“We’re discussing changes that will be made and security procedures, but this is something that’s being highlighted now, but this is something that happens every year and I think now there’s a little more focus on it then there used to be.”

The school board will meet on Monday, March 19.

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