LAUSD officials work to ease fears at schools following Florida shooting

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Police are maintaining a larger presence at Los Angeles schools to ease fears after the Florida shooting. (KABC)

The Florida school shooting is putting Los Angeles Unified School District parents on edge - and officials are trying to ease their fears.

"The parents and staff of LA Unified are very lucky in the sense that we do have a school police department - the largest school police department in the nation," Chief Steve Zipperman of the Los Angeles Schools Police Department said.

The Florida shooting comes just weeks after Sal Castro Middle School students were terrorized by an accidental shooting.

Police say a student brought a gun to school and it went off in her bag - injuring two students. Zipperman said keeping kids safe starts with parents getting answers from their kids.

Some say metal detector wands aren't being used enough on LAUSD campuses and could've caught the gun. Others say it's unnecessary.

Officials say no matter what barriers they have in place, some people will get through anything - like the Florida suspect.

"This particular person was no longer a student at that school site so even if you had metal detectors for students, this person would not be coming in for that particular purpose," interim LAUSD Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said.

Mental health professionals on LAUSD campuses are also working behind the scenes. They work around the clock with police to help high-risk students get the help they need.

"It's a data-gathering process where we gather as much information in the first phase as possible - what is the history, what was said, what was done," said Pia Escudero, LAUSD's director of school mental health.

Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a statement that at this time there are no known threats to Los Angeles area schools or any connection to Florida's shooting, but officers are maintaining a larger presence at schools to ease nerves.
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