City schools beef up

Work is underway to beef up security in Fayetteville City Schools.

Starting this school year, the system will have SROs at both the Ralph Askins School and Fayetteville Middle/High School campuses. Additionally, system officials announced last week that other measures are being taken to increase security using Safe Schools and School Safety & Security grants.

In total, the city school system will receive $52,640 from the state allocations, said Ron Perrin, supervisor with the school system.

“One of the first things we’re going to do is install security laminate on entrances of all three schools, plus the annex,” Perrin told school board members last week. “It’s not bullet proof, but it is shatterproof.

“There have been several shootings where they entered the building by shooting out the glass and walking in,” Perrin explained. “This will prevent that.”

The security laminate will be installed on entrances, as well as on windows where an intruder could gain entrance by shooting out the glass, the supervisor said.

The school system will also install an access control buzzer system on the entrances of all three schools and the annex. This system will include a camera and two-way voice communication at the entrances.

“You will have to buzz to get in,” Perrin explained of the new system, noting that staff in the office will check the camera to see who is at the entrance before allowing access. “You can see clearly the person walking up, and you can hear audio.”

The system includes a badge reader for employee access, Perrin noted.

Additionally, panic alarms will be installed at each school and annex, allowing personnel to instantly send a panic alert to local police when an intruder or visitor poses a threat.

A subscription to the STOPIT App, an anonymous reporting tip line for students, is also part of the new security measures.

“They key is hopefully administrators will get leads about things going on where a kid wouldn’t come to the office to tell or a child wouldn’t tell his teachers,” said Perrin.

Staff will be trained on the new app, and flyers will be sent home with students to explain to parents how the new app works. At first, some 700 students will be covered through the subscription, those at Fayetteville Middle and Fayetteville High.

Other measures already in place include monitors on school buses, something that has been in place for three years now.

“We have not only the driver but another adult on the bus, as well,” Perrin explained.

The system has also installed magnetic release locks at Ralph Askins School and intruder locks on all the classrooms at Fayetteville High.

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