New school security enhancements

The Harrison County School District is rolling out brand new security enhancements at district campuses ahead of the 2019-2020 school year.

In just two weeks, students in the Harrison County School District will head back to school. Students and parents will notice some new safety features once they get there.

One of the biggest changes is the implementation of a new visitor identification system called ‘hall pass’ at central office and all 22 schools in the district. Harrison County School District Director of Security Cathy Garner said, “It’s just an extra layer of safety to provide security and to double check everything through the national registry.”

Under the new system, parents and visitors at schools will be required to present an official ID to office administrators who in turn scan the ID and print out a temporary badge to display while on campus. “If everything is clear, then the badge is printed with their photo, their name, the date, their destination.”

Along with the hall pass identification system, 10 schools are receiving new security doors in offices which cannot be opened unless a button is pressed by an office administrator.

Three Rivers Elementary Assistant Principal Kevin Roberts says the new security door at his school is an additional safety checkpoint. “There’s a magnetized door and if we don’t press access, no one else is getting into that building. It’s a checkpoint that stops it right there.”

‘CRASE’ training is an additional feature of the safety improvements. CRASE stands for ‘civilian response to active shooter events’ and gives administrators tips on how to respond to potential emergencies. Mississippi Office of Homeland Security Director of Operations Jim Brinson said, “It basically boils down to a lot of pre-planning and thinking about what can happen and what your actions are going to be.”

Above all else, the safety of students, faculty, and staff is the highest priority. “A kid’s not going to learn if they don’t feel safe. If they don’t feel like that room is safe, if they can’t get those basic needs handled, they’re not going to listen to what you have to teach them, so yeah, we are, we’re dealing with a primary need right there.”

Categories: Education, Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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