Security at local schools beefed up - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Security at local schools beefed up

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This most recent act of school violence has us wondering about the safety of our kids here at home.

The Canton School District has taken multiple steps in the past year at making all of its schools safer -- and just this week, the schools had a lock down drill.

"If you want to exit the auditorium if there is a shooting going on, most people will then exit immediately. Here's the panic button right here," said Terry Gerber, Canton School District Superintendent.

This past summer, the Canton School District installed panic buttons. They are located throughout the schools in areas you wouldn't normally find a phone -- like the gymnasium.

"We also installed panic buttons in the central office so secretaries also have access. So they can push the panic button if they get a phone call from a classroom and that immediately alerts authorities that there is something going on," said Gerber.

This beefed up security has students feeling safer when they walk through the doors.

"It fees pretty awesome, like if something bad happened around pretty much any corner, there's a stop button, panic button that you can hit if there's an emergency or anything you need," said Colton Laubach, Canton High School sophomore.

Right now there are 32 surveillance cameras in the schools. Though a grant, the district will soon be updating the equipment.

"We're going digital. We're adding more surveillance equipment to our parking lots and exterior of the buildings," said Gerber.

When students and staff come back from winter break, each classroom will have a thumb turn door lock. Right now, teachers are only able to lock their doors from the outside of their classroom.

"If there's an active shooter in the hallway, it's pretty dangerous to step out in the hall and lock your door. So the thumb turn will just go right here and all you got to do is push it and turn it. You can't really stop someone who is mentally unstable and determined but you can take steps to try and minimize or try to prevent that from happening. And that's what we're trying to do here," said Gerber.


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