BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — From the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 to Monday’s shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, the Associated Press says 175 people have died in mass school shootings.

While details of Birmingham City Schools’ safety plans can’t be discussed for protection of students and staff, Superintendent Mark Sullivan says safety is a top priority.

“Right there in our mission statement, we talk about the safety and security of our students,” says Dr. Sullivan.

Mya Blue graduated from Birmingham’s Arthur Harold Parker High School in 2022.

“School is not a place that I would think that I would have to be so scared of my own protection,” says Blue.

However, Blue says going through active shooter drills and having random bag searches and metal detectors at school helped her feel safer.

“It’s still kind of shocking and crazy that we do have to go through such matters because like I said, we’re in the public environment. We’re at school,” says Blue. “I’m coming to learn, I’m coming to make friends, mingle and have fun. I’m not coming to do drills and lockdowns and safety issues.”

Dr. Sullivan says each school district has its own safety weaknesses it needs to address, whether it’s adding school resource officers, metal detectors or cameras. But, he says equipment can only go so far in protecting students.

“You can put all of the metal detectors in place, you can put all of the locks, the cameras, all of those things in place, but if you don’t have relationships with your students there are a lot of things you may not be able to identify because our kids tell us what’s going on in the communities,” says Sullivan.

Some families in the district say what’s being done is not enough and they pray what happened in Nashville doesn’t happen here.

“It’s not enough security. It’s not,” says Hazel Boykin, a concerned family member in the BCS district. “You know they can’t watch every door. They don’t watch every door so I’m afraid that somebody is going to let somebody in the school.”

Sullivan says while financing school safety would look different for every school district, for Birmingham City Schools specifically, $10-million would be a good starting point.