Local school principals talk about security - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Local school principals talk about security

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The school shooting on Tuesday is the latest in a long line of tragedies.

Since the December, 2012 shooting in Newton there have been at least 74 school shootings in the US.

With school safety on many of our minds, we wanted to check in with schools in our area. 

At Brandon Valley High School, there are 36 security cameras situated all around the high school. Despite all of these cameras, Principal Greg Talcott says this may not prevent intruders.

Talcott says when cameras were first put in schools around the country, people thought it would stop an intruder from entering a school. However, he says cameras are not going to stop someone who is mentally unstable.

Talcott says safety is always a concern and when you hear about another school shooting, it draws attention to it.

There are more than 20 access points at Brandon Valley High School. During the day, only a few of the school's doors are unlocked. Visitors are instructed by signs to sign in at the office.

The school also has a lock-down plan in case of an emergency.

"Your best safety probably is the kids who go to school here in terms of just knowing other kids and concerns they may have.  Your staff members having relationships with kids trying to identify kids that might be troubled or concerned," said Talcott.

The plan for the future at Brandon Valley High School is to create a front entrance that would funnel all visitors directly to the front office. 

The Sioux Falls School District is currently in the process of updating security standards at 11 of its schools. Washington High School is just one of those schools.

"This area out here will be a secured entrance and so the first set of doors here will be the locked doors and then individuals will have to be buzzed through. There will also be an area here where someone will be buzzed through and there's also be a station and that person is stationed here will have people come in, verify log in and then get a visitor's pass before they're buzzed into the main body of the school. This set of doors here will be moved all the way out so that there's a nice entrance here for individuals to be able to come in, check in and be able to get their passes," said Jamie Nold, principal of Washington High School.

Nold says safety is always a top priority. With the recent school shootings, he says it's made him take a step back and make sure he's doing everything he can to keep his students and staff safe.

"Everybody feels 'well that can't happen here, our community.' We live in a great community, no question about it, but everybody feels the same way until something does happen. So it does I think help and aid a little bit and benefit to that safety factor," said Nold.

Construction on the front entrance is set to be complete by August 1. Principal Nold says the beefed up security is not meant to interrogate visitors.


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