Panama City-- Security was tight Tuesday as Bay County school board members met for the first time since last month's shooting incident. Board members say they were anxious to get back to work. But some were still a bit apprehensive, despite the added security.
The first Bay District school board meeting, since mayhem broke out last month, is now in the books.
"I must admit, I didn't know how I was going to handle it," said Board Member, Ginger Littleton.
That's understandable. There are still a few reminders of that terrifying December day, to remind school officials of the danger they faced.
"There's a mark on my desk right in front of me where that bullet hit. It's always going to be there and I looked at it a couple times today. I would look to see, and say well how am I lined up to it? And you know, I’ll deal with that. I'm fine. I’m not having nightmares. It's just real and that reminds me it's real and how blessed I am," said Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
A blessed feeling that echoed in the board room at Tuesday’s meeting.
"You could sense the feeling in the room once we got started that thank god we're back in here and we're talking about education," said Husfelt.
Extra security helped eased concerns. There was a marked patrol car parked outside and three uniformed deputies inside.
"I didn't want to be completely helpless which was what happened last time. So I just wanted to make sure I felt comfortable and the other board members felt comfortable with whatever is here. And I will tell you based on the guys that were here today, that green is my new favorite color," said Littleton.
The district has added a microphone strictly for public comment. And everyone attending the meeting must now enter through the front of the building. The other doors are locked.
"It's not just about the board members and us sitting up there. It's about everybody in the room feeling safe and secure," said Husfelt.
The same 3 uniformed deputies are now assigned to every school board meeting.