Pine Belt Schools to Enhance Security

HATTIESBURG, Ms. – After the last week’s unusual spate of school violence, many schools in the Pine Belt region, so named for the belt of pine trees that spans from Oklahoma and Arkansas to New York, plan to increase campus security.

The Petal School District plans to add new school police officers, a drug dog and security cameras to its roster of campus and bus security features. It will also conduct lock-down practice exercises on each campus.

The Hattiesburg Public School District will review its crisis management plan, as well as hire an additional school police officer. A new fence will also be put up around the Hattiesburg High’s Hutchinson Avenue campus.

A Web site called has also been a valuable resource to school officials. The site allows students to anonymously E-mail rumors and information to administrators and staff.

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