Safety and Security
The safety and well-being of students and employees are top priorities in Lexington Two. The district – which includes the municipalities of Cayce, West Columbia, Pine Ridge, Springdale, and South Congaree, all in Lexington County – maintains strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies, emergency services, and city, county, and state officials on issues related to the security of our schools.
Specific details about our safety and security protocols must remain confidential to maintain their effectiveness, but we can share information about the following measures used in the district.
- School Resource Officers: SROs serve at each Lexington Two school, thanks to collaborative partnerships across six area law enforcement agencies: Cayce Department of Public Safety, West Columbia Police Department, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, Springdale Police Department, South Congaree Police Department, and Pine Ridge Police Department. They know our school safety plans, they know our schools, they assist with our practice drills, and they continuously share ways to improve. They are in touch regularly with district and school administrators to talk about school and community safety. These School Resource Officers are a direct line to law enforcement in any emergency.
- Personnel: Lexington Two has a director of security and risk, as well as district- and school-level safety teams, all of whom play a role in safety and emergency preparedness. District employees go through annual training on a range of health and safety topics.
- Emergency plans: All schools have emergency plans to respond to a variety of possible emergencies, including fire, severe weather, bomb threats, and school intruders. Practice drills are conducted throughout the year, in conjunction with law enforcement and emergency agencies.
- Locked doors and controlled access: All doors to our schools and buildings remain locked. Entrances to our buildings are monitored on an ongoing basis, and the district uses an access control system that requires authorized badges and card readers to enter, with the ability to adjust access as needed. The district also uses lockdown buttons and, new in 2023-2024, an electronic emergency alert system that can be activated from anywhere in the building, from the classroom to the cafeteria and all areas in between.
- Security cameras: Lexington Two uses security cameras on all campuses district-wide as well as on school buses.
- Electronic visitor management system: A visitor check-in and check-out electronic management system is located at front entrances in our schools and offices to help ensure that no unauthorized person enters (read more about it by clicking here). This system runs an automated check on each visitor against a list of registered sex offenders (a link to the SC Sex Offender Registry can be found on our district website). Visitors and volunteers are required to show identification upon entry and must wear the system-generated name badge at all times while on school grounds or at school-related events. Read Board Policy KI and Administrative Rule KI-R for other important requirements for visitors by clicking here.
- Event security: Lexington Two uses security screenings and a clear bag rule for all events at our high school stadiums and arenas, as well as board meetings. Get specific information about metal detector use, as well as bag restrictions, by clicking here. Additional staff and law enforcement officers are present at these events as an additional layer of security for our students, families, staff, and community.
- Safety: We tell our students: Be aware of people and your surroundings, and if you see something concerning or suspicious, say something. This helps to ensure that an issue can be addressed quickly and appropriately. Lexington Two also has a district-wide tip line for students, parents, and staff to report threats, crimes, weapons, and other safety concerns. Call or text (803) 363-5172 or email [email protected]. In addition, the district also uses BARK, an online system that monitors content, detects potential threats, and activates appropriate response protocols.
- Mental Health: Lexington Two emphasizes the importance of students’ well-being, with supports that include school social workers and psychologists. Many of our employees are required to take annual training that addresses student mental health issues, including suicide. Lifeline is a suicide prevention resource:
Three digit dialing 988
As a point of information, in the event of security or emergency events, Lexington Two follows the I Love U Guys standard response protocols, used by many schools nationwide. You can find information about these protocols by clicking here.
Unfortunately, rumors that include inaccurate information can spread through social media as safety incidents are unfolding, whether it’s a bus accident, severe weather, school threat, or another matter. These kinds of rumors can cause undue stress to students, families, and employees.
Lexington Two’s goal is communicating accurate information as quickly as it’s available. Please know that we will reach out to staff and families in one or more ways, to include email, text, phone, district and school social media, websites and, depending on the situation, traditional media. Lexington Two families and staff should ensure that contact information is up to date and correct in their PowerSchool account.