DUVAL COUNTY, Fla. — Some schools along the First Coast say there will be increased security measures in light of the tragedy in Texas Tuesday.
Duval County schools say, effective immediately, there will be no backpacks or large handbags allowed at any Duval County public school this week. Small purses will be allowed, but will be subject to search, school officials say.
*Scroll down to read the full statement from Duval County
Additional security will also be present at the Putnam County School District until the end of the year, said the district in a Twitter post.
Clay County District Schools, out of an abundance of caution, says it has partnered with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, the Green Cove Springs Police Department and the Orange Park Police Department to increase security measures and police presence at all schools for the remainder of the week.
Full statement from Duval County Public Schools:
"Hello Duval County Public Schools families, this is School Police Chief Greg Burton calling.
Words cannot describe the feelings we have here at the district as we see the tragedy unfolding today at a school in Texas. While we are deeply saddened, we also want to make you aware that we will be increasing our security measures at all schools for the remainder of the week in an abundance of caution.
Effective immediately, there will be no backpacks or large handbags allowed at any Duval County public school this week. Small purses will be allowed but will be subject to search. Repeating: There will be no backpacks or large handbags allowed at our school for the remainder of the week. Small purses will be allowed but will be subject to search.
I remind you that all of our schools are staffed with an armed police or security officer. In addition, all of our leadership officers will be at schools for the remainder of the week, and we have asked other law enforcement agencies in the area to be especially vigilant around our schools.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families whose lives have been forever impacted by the events in Texas today. While their loss is heavy on my heart, we remain steadfast in our mission to keep students and staff safe. In closing, I also remind you that school security is a partnership. If you see or hear of a threat to our schools, please inform us or the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office immediately. Thank you for your assistance, and I look forward to a safe and secure closing of our school year. Good bye."