Schools enhance security; metal detectors added, cameras installed, tinted windows | Education


Metal detectors have been installed. The windows have been tinted to make it harder for someone to look inside a school. Security cameras have been added.

Here are some of the safety measures the three public school systems in Catawba County have adopted over the past year.

Future plans include bell systems for entry and additional restrictions on school access. Catawba County Sheriff’s Office deputies also receive additional training for active shooter situations.

The shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas in May that killed 21 people raised questions about safety and security in schools across the country. According to data collected by the non-profit newspaper Education Week, there have been 27 school shootings with injuries or deaths since the start of 2022.

People also read…

Catawba County Schools

A significant improvement planned by Catawba County Schools is the addition of safety vestibules at Maiden Elementary, Maiden Middle, and Maiden High. They are the only three schools in the district without security vestibules, Deputy Superintendent of Operations Daniel Moore said via email.

Moore said a security vestibule was included in construction plans for the new Maiden Elementary School building. He said the district is planning to install security vestibules in middle and high schools.

“A security vestibule is a foyer that allows relatives or visitors to enter the building – after showing their ID and stating their purpose,” Moore said. “And allows interaction with Catawba County Schools employees while restricting access to the entire building, students, faculty and staff. Security vestibules vary in size due to the age and composition of each building. »

Moore said district schools added tint to various parts of buildings, such as windows in cafeterias, halls or other high-visibility areas. Other improvements include landscaping to improve line of sight around school campuses. He said maintaining campus landscapes is an important part of overall campus safety.

Hickory Public Schools

Hickory Public Schools is currently working on a project to purchase and install additional cameras in district buildings and replace school bus camera systems, Superintendent Bryan Taylor said via email. He said the district conducted a security assessment of every building in the district to see where improvements were needed.

“(Hickory Public Schools) has added 19 cameras in the district with a focus on middle and high schools,” Hickory Public Schools director of student services Angela Simmons said via email. “The grant for this school year is expected to add approximately 45 cameras, including some upgrades to recording and viewing systems.”

Hickory Public Schools Director of Operations and Maintenance Tony Cox said upgrades, routine maintenance and repairs are included in the upcoming project.

“The safety assessment also showed areas where additional training is needed for school staff and for district staff,” Simmons said. “We are working closely with the Hickory Police Department, Center for Safer Schools and Vector Solutions for additional training. With several new principals, we will organize training for them on the school’s risk management plan online safety plan, as well as updating our annual safety plans.

Hickory High School has taken additional steps over the past school year.

“We trimmed the trees in front of the building, removed a few trees along the side of the building, and removed any overgrown bushes between the parking lot and the gates,” Taylor said.

Hickory Public Schools also purchased additional metal detectors, two-way radios and partnered with juvenile court counselors, who will have offices in each of the middle and high schools, Taylor said.

Newton-Conover City Schools

Newton-Conover City Schools adds a new bell system. Facilities and Security Manager Robin Rudisill said the system is a security intercom system that provides voice and video communication. A buzzer system will be located at the main entrance of each school.

Rudisill said all schools in the city of Newton-Conover have security cameras, and the district is continually updating systems and adding cameras. Each school also has wireless Tattletale panic devices that immediately dispatch the police when activated.

“Over the past 10 years, as we built new schools and funds became available, we reset all school buildings in the town of Newton-Conover for safety reasons,” Rudisill said. “We are now able to provide District Managers, local police departments and local fire departments with keys that will allow access to all of our buildings.”

School Resource Officers

Each district has law enforcement officers present at schools throughout the week to provide additional security.

“A school resource officer is a deputy or police officer whose primary duty is to provide law enforcement services to the school or schools assigned to him,” the county sheriff’s captain said. of Catawba, Aaron Turk, via email.

The sheriff’s office has 16 deputies assigned as school resource officers for Catawba County schools, Turk said. One deputy is assigned to each high school and one to each middle school, excluding Maiden Middle and Maiden High Schools. A deputy is also assigned to the Catawba Rosenwald Education Center.

Five assistants are assigned to elementary schools. Each deputy rotates between three assigned schools, Turk said. The sheriff’s office also has a K-9 deputy and a sergeant who visits all schools in Catawba County.

Maiden Police Department officers are assigned to Maiden Middle and High Schools. The Conover Police Department provides coverage for Lyle Creek Elementary, Turk said.

“Our school resource officers have extensive training in responding to incidents of mass violence on educational campuses,” Turk said. “In light of the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, we have evaluated our response plans and are providing additional training to our staff.”

The Hickory Police Department is providing four full-time school resource officers for Hickory Public Schools, school system communications director Beverly Snowden said via email.

Hickory High, Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High, Northview Middle, and Grandview Middle school each have an assigned officer. College officers are also assigned to elementary schools in the district, Snowden said. Southwest Primary has a part-time School Resource Officer through the Long View Police Department.

Hickory High School resource officer Bryson Grier said he was present at the school Monday through Friday from the time students arrive until they leave. He said his job is to be a liaison between the school and the Hickory Police Department.

Grier said he also attends school events that require off-duty officers and helps coach the basketball team connect with students.

“When I help coach the basketball team, they see, ‘OK, he’s not just there to enforce the law, he’s actually there to mentor us and make sure we’re successful’ “Grier said. “Because it’s game over for me. Even when they see me out of that uniform, you still have that security aspect. That’s what I represent when they see me.

Newton-Conover City Schools has Resource Officers at Newton-Conover High School and Newton-Conover Middle School. The district also has a part-time resource officer for Shuford Elementary School and Conover School, Rudisill said.


Comments are closed.