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Should schools get lock down gates ?

Original post made by WorriedParent, Midtown, on Jun 1, 2006

All of (or most of us) heard / read the stories regarding a stranger approaching the children of Addison Elementary. Its a scary thought. When our kids are in school, we expect them to be *safe*. Ofcourse, this holds true as long as they stay inside the campus and not venture out on the streets.

But we have to remember, kids need to use the restrooms, kids are entrusted with the job of carrying the attendance sheet to the office - for one reason or other - child(ren) get out of their classrooms and are gone from the classrooms for some time.

Think about it - during the school hours, how many people have an access to the campus? Plenty! In the elementary schools that I have seen - there are quite a few people hanging around after the school is in session. These are parent volunteers, these are parents who are socializing, these are neighbors who have brought their young child just to see the happy and jolly kids, there are grandparents who have come to see off their grandchildren ..

Don't you think the school should have two gates that get locked down right after the school is in session? All the human traffic, once the gates are closed - should be directed through the office, where the person would have to state a reason (and maybe id himself/herself) before being let into the campus. Now .. I can see some people raising the question of - if there are locked gates, what happens in case of an emergency? I am not talking about padlocks, these should be electronic locks that we see everywhere - which will sound an alarm when opened. In case of an emergency - well, let the alarm sound. During other times, this alarm will alert someone in the office.

The school district will definitely argue about needing more $ to hire staff to monitor the traffic during the school hours. Well ... this is a small price to pay for the safety !

What do the other parents think ?

Thanks !

Comments (1)

Posted by Leslie White
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 2, 2006 at 6:10 pm

School staff have established a number of procedures to minimize student risk. All the optional gates for school sites are locked after the final bell rings; students go around campus in pairs, to the bathroom, to office for errands, to the specialists' offices. Parents are monitoring entrances and exits during recess and lunch times and the district has hired extra personnel to patrol school grounds during the school day. Parent volunteers are required to wear red name tags to identify themselves; any adult without a name tag is challenged. I think that everyone is doing all they can usefully do to protect the children. I know that everybody is worried and upset, but look around to see what measures are being taken.

leslie


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