I've posted a photo of the letter we received from the district outlining the changes to be put in place following the Sandy Hook tragedy. I apologize if it's hard to read, plus I edited out names for privacy purposes.
I am actually shocked the district was so quick to implement these changes, and I'm pleased. I don't think the gun debate should have anything to do with what each school district decides to implement for their children's safety. Those should be seperate issues entiely, IMO. The kids are already used to an armed guard, but now there will be one at every school, versus rotating through. I'm happy with the other changes as well.
I'm curious, have you guys seen any changes on your local level? I wonder how many school districts are opting to go the armed guard route? Many have it in place already...I'd be curious to see how many schools are going in that direction. Whatever it takes to keep the kids safe...I'm okay with.
Sorry about that...I figured it may be hard to read.
What it essentially said was that 2 additional armed guards would be added to the payroll (we have one now, district wide)...so that there would be an armed officer in every school. They also will have the armed guards present at extracurricular events, and in the school during extracurricular practices after school. Also, our MS/HS currently has a keycard system that they are going to implement in the 2 elementary schools. We get buzzed in as well, but I guess now they are going to require id to get buzzed in.
I'm pleased thus far with the changes. The armed guards have to have training and experience working AS police officer, and they also have to have experience working with children.
Nothing creates a perfectly safe environment, but this gives me a little more peace of mind.
Like SM, I couldn't begin to read the posted letter, because I'm old and my eyes don't work the way they used to, in spite of bifocals........ lol
I retired from the School District in my county, a little over a year ago. Our district has 70+ facilities throughout the county and because I worked in the environmental department, I was from campus to campus, every day. All of the schools had "armed guards" in the form of resource officers. These officers worked for the county sheriff's dept or the city police department, depending on where the school was located.
Nobody ever blinked an eye over having these officers on campus (yes, they were armed).
The district also implemented a program, in which everyone who came onto a campus was required to check in at the front office and obtain a visitor's badge. Each time they did this, their DL was run to make sure they were not sexual predators, etc. Employees were required to wear district issued photo badges at all times and we had to sign in and out in a log book in the front office; our DL did not have to be run, because we'd already been finger printed and cleared, before we got our badges.
Over the last 2-3 yrs of my employment, the district had begun building 8' fences around all the campuses; all gates had to be kept locked at all times. If we had to enter a campus via a side gate, we were required to stop, unlock the gate, drive through, stop and relock the gate, then reverse the process on the way out... this no matter how short time we planned to be on campus, but we still had to sign in at the front office before we entered a side gate......
Bus areas for drop off and pick up were manned by principals, teachers, etc and anyone questionable was stopped before they got to the front door of the school..
While the precautions caused employees to spend much more time than necessary getting to where we needed to be, in the overall scheme of things, it might save some children.
Over the years that I worked for the District, we did have several lock downs on individual campuses, along with a couple of county wide lock downs......only one time did someone get hurt and though the lock down was due to a bomb threat, there was no bomb, the injury was minor and not related to the bomb threat.
We have some of the same protocol that your school system did. Parents do, however, come and go throughout the day. How do they get in through the gate. do they get buzzed in? I've noticed one of the issues of our buzz system (sure that's the tech term for it) is that someone has to work it. Usually it is just the school secretary and if she is gone it is the school nurse or whomever is passing by, I guess. I've stood outside for a time period when the secretary is on break. anyway, I always wonder do they really take time to look over a person before buzzing us in? I don't know. But it is true that parents are in and out of that school probably 50 to 100 times a day with a class size of over 800.
To volunteer at our school, you have to get finger printed and have your dl run.
I wrote somewhere else that a district North of me is running a program now of training retired police officers to be substitute teachers. They will be the subs called on into schools. It's kind of funny to me though as I've done that job and that is not a relaxing retirement gig! I'd rather patrol an abandoned warehouse. :>)
Our schools have a front door that is open/unlocked so people can come into the front office. Before going any further, they have to have their DL run, and get a visitor badge. This applies to everyone except school district employees, who must have their district issued badge at all times, and must also sign in a log book.
Our schools, too, have volunteers that come in and stay throughout the day, or only part days; they must go through the same protocol when they come, as do other visitors, even if they come on a daily basis. Each visitor badge has the date and time of entry; this "signs" the person in and when they leave they are supposed to leave the badge at the front desk, so they can be signed out.
Of course, there are flaws in the system, as with many, but it seems to work well and our schools have minimal issues.
We haven't had a lot of trouble with students bringing guns to school (other weapons are another matter), but yeah on the rare occasion someone does bring a gun (or other weapon), it's almost always other students that turn them in.
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