Lee School Board approves lightning detection system after student's death

Jesse Watlington


Jesse Watlington

Video from NBC-2

— Lee County School Board members voted Tuesday to implement a lightning detection system to help prevent “disasters with lightning striking students.”

The decision comes after 11-year-old Jesse Watlington was struck by lightning at Southwest Florida Christian Academy last week as football practice was starting. His parents decided to take him off life support Sunday.

The board unanimously approved $800,000 to go toward the purchase of an outdoor weather alert and lightning detection system for 13 Lee County high schools.

“It was important to move on this as quickly as possible,” Superintendent Joseph Burke said. “Given the recent tragedy that occurred, we felt that if we were able to get this item approved tonight that we could go ahead and make the purchase and get it installed. This will allow our high schools to look at and predict strikes in a given area around the buildings and the fields where students are going to be practicing.”

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