Edmond students will see some big changes in security when they return to school this fall.
Following the Parkland, Florida shooting, Edmond school leaders gathered community members and security experts to see what they could do to make their schools safer.
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Now, the district has started implementing those changes.
During a bond issue in February, voters approved funding to install bullet proof glass, video surveillance cameras and improved perimeter security. The district has been working over the summer to implement phase one of the improvements.
The extra layer of security at Edmond's high and middle schools will be evident the minute you walk in, or try to walk in, the door. Over the summer, school personnel installed technology at all of the district's high schools and two of the middle schools that will only allow entry with a student ID that also serves as a key card.
“As principals, these are things we think about every single day, ‘How do we keep our kids safe?’” said Debreon Davis, the principal at Edmond North. “So, we know this is another layer we can add, so that people that should not be on our campus, should not have as easy access.”
All students will be required to wear their picture ID and the district will install the control access doors to the rest of the middle schools next year. Students will also only be allowed access to about half the doors in the school, so personnel can better monitor who is coming in.
The improvements were some of the top recommendations by the committee that included law enforcement and secret service agents.
“Implementation of school specific IDs and control access points has shown to be very effective in diminishing the occurrences in unwanted trespassers in buildings, and that’s what we’re looking for,” said District Spokesperson Susan Parks-Schlepp.
The district is asking parents to help their students remember those IDs and for patience.
“This is a big change and we expect there to be some hiccups, but we really believe it will ensure we have safer campuses,” said Parks-Schlepp.
In addition to the physical security, the district has also hired five new counselors to help with the mental health of students.