May 13, 2015

To buzz in, or not to buzz in

By Cheryl McCormack

The Washburn Public School recently received a $5,444 bid to install a secured entrance, including a camera and buzzer system, at the administrative entrance of the school. Now, the board of directors must decide if the use of a secured entrance is the direction they want the school to go.

Board President Rick Tweeten said when looking back at school violence in the last five to 10 years, it's not the people coming in from the outside that are the issue – the violence is happening on the inside. "A secured entrance isn't going to solve this," he said. "Don't get me wrong, we need the school to be safe for our kids, our staff, our administration. But we can't put a big bubble over our school."

Tweeten went on to say that the school already has security measures in place, including cameras and the locking of all but the administrative entrance door during the school day. "How far do we want to go with this?" he asked the board. "Do we want to make our facilities like a prison? We, as a board and administration, how far do we want to go with this and what do we think is enough? This is what we need to decide. It's not a big dollar issue."

Superintendent Brad Rinas said he feels a secured entrance would help control the flow of parents in and out of the school, forcing visitors to stop by the office to check in.

Director Courtney seiler asked if the flow of parents has really been an issue in Washburn.

Rinas replied, "It can be an annoyance. We have parents that go straight to a classroom or locker, because 99 out of 100 of them have a good relationship with their child's teacher. Do I want them to do that? No. People should honor the sign on the door and check in at the office. I think it would be helpful."

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