Schools fast-track security work after district approves $15M in grants

SAN DIEGO – San Diego city schools are building security fences, installing security lights and taking other steps to make local campuses safer with $15 million in expedited grants from the school district.

The San Diego Unified School District allocated the money for last week in the wake of recent school shootings, including the one in Parkland Florida that killed 17 people.

One of the schools taking advantage of the new money is Miramar Ranch Elementary School in Scripps Ranch. Workers are installing a new 8-foot-high security fence around the campus. When that is done, strategically placed security lights will go up, Principal Peggy Crane said.

Parents have been asking school officials to make the school safer from outside intruders since the Parkland mass shooting.

"Emotionally, it's tough, and it's very challenging for parents – we know that," Crane said. "We really appreciate the support, but we know it's a process, and so we're trying to get the best procedures and processes in place. Sometimes that takes us a little while to work out the kinks, but we're working with our staff and our parents to do just that."

Construction of the fences should be completed in a week, Crane said.

At least one parent is glad to see the money spent on new security measures.

"To hear that the school has gotten more funds for security is awesome," the mother said.