As students, teachers, and parents are getting back in their routines this school year, they may notice a few security changes at Ocean Springs schools.
It’s a new school year with new safety measures in Ocean Springs. With kids back on all campuses in the Ocean Springs School District, some changes to school security are evident as soon as you get to the front door. Ocean Springs School District Director of Operations Brooks McKay said, “As far as the building goes, we’ve added what we call safety foyers, which is going to kind of give us almost like a doctor’s office type setup, if you will. Someone will arrive here, kind of tell us who they’re here to see, and we’ll escort them to their place.”
The security foyers feature doors that can only be opened by designated staff members and are magnetically controlled. To gain entry into a school, a visitor has to press a buzzer with a camera, allowing school officials to communicate with the person before allowing them into the school. “Once we determine that the person is here for good business and is safe, then we can operate the system and allow them into our doors.”
Citizen Aid Public Treatment Kits are now a feature in classrooms as well, allowing staff to administer critical first aid in a potential crisis situation. “We bought those Citizen Aid kits and trained our staff on how to pack wounds, which is unfortunate in today’s time that we train teachers to pack wounds, but we feel like the goal is to save lives.”
Magnolia Park Elementary Principal Alison Block says people have responded in different ways to the changes so far. “We’ve had mixed reviews from parents, but I think once they understand that it is in place to keep their child safe, they understand why we have it.”
Of course, student safety is at the heart of these new measures. “We really believe strongly that you can’t achieve high academically until they feel safe, so that’s our focus every day.”