WASHINGTON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – The Washington County School District hopes to keep students safe by upgrading security measures this summer thanks to voters who passed a $125 million school bond initiative last November.
Before school starts on August 12, all of the district’s elementary schools will have new security doors installed. The doors will be locked at all times and can only be opened using a key fob. Any visitors or parents must sign in at the front office and receive a visitors badge before accessing any students.
“We’re trying to keep our kids safer because that’s one of the building blocks for learning,” Washington County School District Communications Director Steve Dunham said. “We have to have a safe environment where kids can come and feel at home and comfortable.”
The district plans to install the doors in every Washington County school throughout the year, wrapping up by next summer.
“I think when you look at what has happened nationally with the shootings at Sandy Hook and in Florida and really everywhere throughout the nation, we’re not immune to that here,” Dunham said. “It’s not the same society it was 20 or 25 years ago.”
Last year, students were evacuated from Pine View High School after a student tried to detonate a homemade bomb in the school’s cafeteria. Martin Farnsworth, 16, faced charges including attempted murder and weapons of mass destruction.
The majority of teens worry a shooting could happen at their schools, according to recent data from Pew Research Center.
Additional security measures are being taken, but authorities have advised the district to not reveal any information.
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