Clear backpacks, security film: Horry County Schools outline new safety measures

Horry County Schools said they have been working all summer long on keeping kids safe within school walls.
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:45 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:52 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Students in Horry County just returned to the classroom, but the school district said they have been working all summer long on keeping kids safe within school walls.

Horry County Schools Safety Coordinator David Beaty said the schools are blocking out windows using security film.

They have also added more signs outside to show visitors where to go and help first responders around in emergencies.

Beaty said the district is also increasing its number of emergency drills to two times what the state requires. Beaty said the district will always continue to upgrade and improve security.

“One thing that we believe about our comprehensive safety and security program is that it’s dynamic in nature,” Beaty said. “It’s always in a state of being reviewed and modified where necessary.”

Some students are also using clear backpacks for the first time.

The decision is up to administrators, and Myrtle Beach area schools, as well as Pee Dee Elementary, require them this year.

Every Horry County school has an armed officer.

Myrtle Beach Elementary’s SRO Zachary Seppi said his day-to-day consists of protecting students and building relationships with them.

Seppi said his day starts out with greeting students and making sure they get through the car and bus line safely. Throughout the day, he is walking around, checking doors and making sure kids are following the rules.

Seppi said SROs not only go to training quarterly, but here in Horry County, they recently went through an all-day active shooter training.

While Seppi could not go into specifics of the training, he said they are always ready to jump in and protect your kids.

“We gotta instantly respond,” Seppi said. “There’s no hanging back. You gotta instantly make sure these kids are safe that’s the biggest thing. Myrtle Beach makes sure all officers have that mentality.”