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Reaction from Tampa Bay school districts and officials to the Uvalde mass shooting

Michael Grego speaking at the podium
Pinellas County Schools
Pinellas County Superintendent Michael Grego, shown in April 2022, issued a statement following the Texas school shooting, urging students to report any suspicious activity.

Pasco County schools will have an increased law enforcement presence, while officials expressed sadness and urged students to report suspicious activity and reach out if they're struggling to cope with the tragedy.

School districts around the greater Tampa Bay region are reacting to Tuesday's mass shooting at a Texas school, just days before the start of summer break here.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office says it will have increased law enforcement presence for the last day of school on Wednesday out of what it calls an "abundance of caution."

Pinellas County Superintendent Michael Grego issued a statement Tuesday night, urging students to report any suspicious activity by calling an adult, contacting law enforcement, or reporting anonymously at getfortify.fl.com.

"The safety of our students and staff remains the top priority in our district," Grego said in the statement. "We take our responsibility to ensure the safety of our schools seriously. As a district, we continuously coordinate with our law enforcement partners throughout Pinellas County to prepare for any type of emergency and, as you know, regularly practice our safety procedures with students and staff through discussions and emergency exercises.

"Our School Resource Officers, School Safety Officers, Pinellas County Schools Police and all local law enforcement agencies work collaboratively on a daily basis and are committed to the safety and security across all district buildings."

This is the last week of school across the greater Tampa Bay region. Pinellas and Manatee counties wrap up Thursday, and Friday is the final day in Hillsborough, Sarasota, Polk, and Hernando counties.

In his statement, Grego also urged students and parents to reach out to students and family members who are struggling to cope with the news.

"It is also important for all of us to support our students who may be feeling worried about their own safety or the safety of their loved ones," Grego said in the statement. "Here is a link to tips from the National Association of School Psychologists that you can utilize as a resource with your child(ren). Our Student Services teams are ready to support any student, family or staff member experiencing difficulty following today’s tragedy.

Other school districts and law enforcement agencies reacted on social media:

You can read the latest NPR coverage news out of Texas here.

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