Schools update safety plans

Area schools are examining their safety policies after the recent Newtown shooting and incidents involving alleged threats against St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

SJO has changed the way people enter the building.

Now all visitors must buzz in the east doors. The administration has also warned students not to let anyone into the building.
Students are also experiencing changes.

For lunch students must now enter through the east doors instead of the north doors near the parking lot.

In response to the Newtown tragedy the SJO administration asked teachers to review the district's Code Red procedures. A Code Red is an alert status meaning there is an imminent danger to staff and students.

The district had a Code Red drill in September.

The district did not want to elaborate on the details of the drill because it potentially compromise some of the safety aspects of the plan.

In an email sent to teachers, Principal Brian Brooks said "It is sad that we have to worry about these types of things in schools and that we have to make sure all doors are locked.  Public schools used to be open to their communities to come and go as they please, but unfortunately that is not the case anymore."

Prairieview-Ogden schools are installing a buzz system on their north building. Currently, the south building and the junior high have a buzz system.

On Feb. 15 the district's teachers have an in-service day in the afternoon.

During that time they will be taught gun and knife self defense.

PVO superintendent Vic White said while everyone feels their districts are safe there are too many variables to take into consideration when answering that question.

"I would bet Newtown would have said they were safe until what happened," he said. "The self-defense class is to teach all employees some basic self defense moves that I hope they never have to use."

St. Joseph Grade School and Middle School also have buzz systems.

Both schools are currently updating their security systems.

Visitors now must be buzzed in to gain entrance to classroooms by the main office. Previously, visitors were only buzzed in once at the main doors.

Both schools in the Heritage District also have buzz systems.


Categories (2):News, Education


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