Members of the Bay District School Board take their seats for the first time since last month’s shooting. Even though there were many items on the agenda, it was the sense of security on everyone’s minds.
With the recognition of each Superintendent Student of the Month, Tuesday’s school board meeting started off the same way it did on December 14th, but much is different.
“I was a bit apprehensive, I must admit I don’t know how I was going to handle it, the other guys seem to be doing at least externally better than I, I tend to tear up a bit,” said School Board Member, Ger Littleton.
“You can see those children here today and that’s what brought a sense of peace for me. When I walked into the room to see them excited and smiling to be here,” said Superintendent Bill Husfelt.
Husfelt’s sense of peace came from the noticeable and unnoticeable heightened security measures. Two uniformed Bay County deputies stand on either side of the room and deputies not in uniform blended in with the crowd. Anyone who addresses the public must now fill out a yellow form with their name and address. When that person is called, they must approach a microphone that stands in the middle of the board room. The former podium is now used solely for faculty members and staff.
“There’s a mark on my desk right in front of me where that bullet hit and it’s always going to be there and I looked at it a couple of times and lined myself up to it and you know, I’ll deal with it. I’m fine. I’m not waking up in cold sweats and having nightmares, it just real and it just shows how real it is and how blessed I am,” Husfelt said.
Husfelt adds he along with other board members are ready to move on and are comforted with the fact that the increased security is here to stay.
“I will tell you based on the guys that were here today that green is my new favorite color,” Littleton said.
The tension in the room diminished and Littleton says the board began feeling like its old self again.
“I didn’t think we would have anyone joking, get the business done and get out of there, and we did and we lightened up a bit and it became our old regular board having a regular board meeting, it was delightful,” Littleton said.
Ginger Littleton received a gift at the meeting. It was a new purse from Brahmin, the same company that manufactured the infamous purse Littleton hit the gunman, Clay Duke, with. Security Officer, Mike Jones, who’s credited for saving the school board members’ lives, made an appearance after the meeting.