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School security a necessity

Throughout the years, the topic of keeping students safe at learning institutions has been the subject of much debate and at times, much grief.

The major school shooting in recent years that catapulted officials to engage in conversation about school security was Columbine High School in Colorado, which occurred April 20, 1999 and resulted in the killing of 13 people and the wounding of over 20.

Over the years, several more occurrences of incidents at schools have garnered even more of a reason why our schools need to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our students.

As a rural community, many may be under the false assumption “it could never happen here.” However, it is important to be proactive.

In light of security concerns, Superintendent of Charlotte County Schools Dr. Nancy Leonard recently announced the installation of a security wall at Randolph-Henry High School.

“The security wall is being installed,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Nancy Leonard. “It was designed to meet security needs but also to blend in with the beautiful architecture of R-HHS.”

Leonard said the goal of the new security wall is to prevent visitors from bypassing main office visitor screening procedures as they come in the front doors of the school.

“Entry into the classroom section hallway will be limited to staff who have assigned electronic key fobs or through being buzzed in by office personnel after proper screening and permission has been given,” said Leonard.

She said after visitors enter the main entrance of the school, the only option will be to enter the main office until access is granted to the remainder of the building via buzzer.

“The front doors are the only doors where visitors can enter the building and so this wall tightens security and reduces access to the classroom and hall areas where students and teachers are located,” said Leonard.

I believe the security wall is an excellent way to take safety precautions a step further at the high school to ensure the safety of students in Charlotte County.

However, older schools in the county currently do not have the same luxury at the moment.

Leonard previously said proposed renovations include the same security wall for Bacon District Elementary and Phenix Elementary, but the timeline is unknown.

Leonard has been an advocate for safety and security at our schools, and these measures are an important part of keeping our students safe and protecting future generations.

Italia Gregory  is community editor of The Charlotte Gazette. Her email address is Italia.Gregory@TheCharlotteGazette.com.