In the wake of the Columbine shootings, and now the fear created by a sniper in Washington, D.C., at least one school district in Colorado Springs has decided to step up its security to protect students.
Harrison District 2 is now putting in new security measures, which are being paid for by last November's approval of a $60 million bond issue.
At Otero Elementary, the front door will stay open during school hours, as always. But every other door is locked, and the district is putting in some high tech equipment to keep an eye on the schools.
Soon at every Harrison School District 2 building, you'll see teachers and staff members with key cards to get past locked doors, and to get inside the building after hours. Who goes in, and when, is recorded at district headquarters. If a card is lost or stolen, staff members call the administration office, and they deactivate the badge. That gives the schools another added layer of security.
If a situation came up, and the school needed to be locked down, there is also one button to push that would lock all the doors in an instant. It also sends out an alarm to the security office to get in contact with administration to find out what's going on.
An intercom system lets people inside talk with people outside during a lockdown. And inside, staff members can see who they're talking to via the cameras. The cameras transmit a live picture, and back at district headquarters, the security team can see what's going on at any school. Once the $1 million security upgrade is finished, the district will have 100 cameras to view.
Other new security measures include adding security officers at all the middle and high school, and a two-way radio system that lets everyone in the district communicate in an emergency.