Recent events have schools upping security

One local school district says in today's climate, even jokes are taken seriously.

Posted: Feb 25, 2018 10:16 AM
Updated: Feb 25, 2018 10:20 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - With the recent Florida school shooting and a local school district facing threats, security is at the top of many schools' minds.

“You can plan for everything, but when things really happen it’s hard to know how things are going to react,” Michael Carolan, Superintendent of Dover-Eyota Public Schools, said.

“I think we’ve established a safe sense of security here,” Carolan said.

The district has security cameras in all of it’s schools, 22 in the secondary school alone. The district also has big red buttons known as ‘lockdown buttons’ throughout the school.

“Hit that button…and it secures all the doors throughout the building. So that if someone were in the building, their movement would be contained,” he said.

But it still takes a lot for someone to even get into the building. Every person entering campus has to get through a locked door with security cameras. Someone at the front desk sees a visitor in the camera, and asks questions, before letting someone in or turning them away.

If someone is let in, they are directed to go straight to the main office to receive a visitors badge, sometime staff and students look out for.

“If they see somebody walking through the hall that doesn’t have a (staff) badge or some visitor type thing, they are going to stop them and ask, ‘can I help you,’” Carolan said.

Students are also taught to keep their ‘Minnesota nice’ in check. Students don’t let anyone they don’t know into the building and are taught to report any questionable comment. Carolan said in a climate like today’s, even jokes are taken seriously.

“It isn’t a joking matter to say I’m going to go shoot up a school. It isn’t a joking matter to say there’s a bomb...in the walls somewhere, it isn’t something we take lightly,” he said.

And security is something that is constantly monitored.

“We need to continue to be vigilant and monitor our practices, and we do that. We review our safety procedures regularly,” he said.

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