Increased Security in Macomb Township Schools May be New Normal
Heightened security measures implemented by Chippewa Valley, L'Anse Creuse, Utica and New Haven districts following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting are expected to remain in place through early 2013.
Three weeks, including a holiday break, have passed in Macomb Township schools since the mass shooting in Newtown, CT, but security remains at an all-time high in all local districts.
Like countless districts across the state and country, Chippewa Valley, L'Anse Creuse, New Haven and Utica schools heightened their security in the days following the shooting.
In Chippewa Valley, those measures are due to remain in place until further notice, wrote Superintendent Ron Roberts in a recent letter to parents.
Enhanced security measures include:
- All perimeter doors, including main entrances, will be locked during school hours.
- These main doors will be monitored by school staff and security personnel at the high schools.
- Visitors to the school must be prepared to show photo identification and provide a reason for their visit. This includes all parent volunteers that are scheduled to work in district buildings.
UCS Superintendent Dr. Christine M. Johns echoed Roberts statements in a Dec. 21 letter to her district's parents. Utica schools will not only enforce the measures listed above but has also asked local police to increase their presence in school parking lots and adjacent areas.
New Haven Community Schools also plans to continue its enhanced security, including locking all main doors and installing buzzer systems to alert office staff to the presence of visitors at the main doors. The installation is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.
L'Anse Creuse, which implemented similar security measures prior to the holidays, says it plans to maintain a high level of security but has not reinstated all pre-break measures.
Prior to the break, all main entrances at elementary and junior high schools were locked during the school day as were all classroom doors while class was in session.
Post-break, the district said one main door at each school, and interior classroom doors, will remain unlocked. In the case of the elementary and middle schools, the unlocked main door leads directly into the main office, while main entrances at the high schools continue to be monitored by staff, according to the LCPS website.
"Classroom doors are unlocked during school hours and everyone is much more relaxed," said James Coller, L'Anse Creuse North senior. "With all of the classroom doors being locked, classrooms were being interrupted frequently and it was more of a distraction. With all of the other security measures in place, I still feel perfectly safe at school."
What security measures should districts implement on a permanent basis?