New Program Helps Protect Students From Bullies To Terrorist Attacks

Principal Nate Fairconnetue is trying to track down an incident involving two North Gulfport 7th and 8th Grade students. He's getting some help by testing a new surveillance system.

Nate Fairconnetue said "It gives us some extra eyes to check in on the students, and it's just a wonderful device to have".

The cameras are part of the new "Project Alert" in Mississippi, and the man who's heading up the program is Richard Rose.

Rose said "It deals with everything from bullying to accidents, fires, explosions, terrorist situations, lockdowns, intruders, shootings, and kidnappings".

Rose is in charge of helping five South Mississippi school districts, as well as Claiborne County Schools, create a comprehensive plan to prevent violence on campus. Rose said "There's been over 385 shootings in the last ten years in the US at schools, we don't need another one and we don't need one here in our school districts".

Rose also will work with school leaders in Gulfport, Harrison County, Jackson County, Moss Point, Pascagoula and Claiborne County to come up with a uniform plan to help emergency crews respond to a crisis.

Rose said "If they know how a school is going to respond to a crisis, then they can do their job better and they can save lives and provide the security they need to protect these kids".

Fairconnetue said "We're just living in a different world now and never know what goes on. It's for the safety and security of our school here".

Project Alert also includes Westminster Academy and schools in the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi. The program is funded by a $500,000 grant by the U-S Department of Education.