When it comes to school safety Jefferson County is stepping it up a notch. The county Board of Education recently voted to spend nearly $250,000 to upgrade security.
Superintendent Susan Wall says the bulk of that money will be used to make secondary doors just as secure as front entrances.
“What we would like to do is add some additional swipe key locks at some entrances,” Wall said.
Currently teachers are using metal keys for doors that lead to play grounds and physical education areas. Wall says the swipe keys add another layer of security. Once they’ve been installed, not only can the school determine who’s going in and out of the door and the time but also control the level of access for each employee.
Jefferson County is one of several school systems in the state to take full advantage of funding from the state School Building Authority, adding security cameras, fencing and main entrances where you have to be buzzed in. The county has also gotten some outside help from security experts in Washington D.C.
“We benefit from having some excellent resources that not only come from Charleston but also some local individuals as well,” Wall explained.
All the schools in the county have been audited to determine how many doors there are and the cost of installing swipe card key locks. Work on the project will begin soon.
Wall says education is their top priority but in order to do that, schools have to be safe.
“We constantly review, revisit, re-teach. You always want to be better.”