The change of future school safety

New ID system revamps security expectations


Rachel Blake

A student holds up his ID to the camera to be let into the school.

The threat of unwanted visitors looms over any building with substantial amounts of people coming in and out. While students are kept well away from entrances at school, no barrier is set in place to keep office staff from coming into contact with outsiders.

I need to make sure the place is safe and the kids are protected. [The students] need to worry about going to school, I need to worry about protecting [them].”

— principal Jeffrey Kajs

Recently, the district has implemented a new video check-in system. This new system requires students or any adults not on staff to push the doorbell and show their ID’s to a camera. The receptionists in the office then validate that they belong in the school and let them in. Without a valid form of ID, outside adults won’t be let in and students are escorted to the library to verify their enrollment and obtain temporary IDs.

“The students have been great,” office receptionist Dixie McMath said. “I would say the majority of them already have their ID out and around their neck. They punch the button, and if there’s four of them out there, all four of them will show their ID’s, I’ll click them and they come on in.”

Students and staff haven’t experienced much backlash with the new system. The staff think it is better than the old system because it is much safer. As the unfamiliarity goes away, students have come up to the doorbell prepared to show their school ID’s.

“I don’t think [the system] was too drastic,” senior Collin Erickson said. “It was a big change. [Before] you just walked in, someone held the door open for you or someone from the inside opened the door.”

The system which was previously in place allowed people with unknown intentions past the first couple set of doors. Instead of checking by camera someone’s identification, the doors were unlocked all the way to the office. Only then did the front receptionist have a chance to identify them.

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“[Anyone] could get in the front doors,” McMath said. “You’re already in the building before [someone] really had a chance to check the person.”

Recently, the topic of school safety has been frequently discussed in the media. Other solutions like metal detectors and bulletproof backpacks are proposed by the public, but for the most part aren’t fully considered. Although the responsibilities of this system is put onto the already busy front office, they take the responsibility and run with it.

“I need to make sure the place is safe and the kids are protected,” principal Jeffery Kajs said. “[The students] need to worry about going to school, I need to worry about protecting [them].”