DeKalb County schools will have new safety precautions this year

The district spent millions of dollars this summer keeping kids safe.

Posted: Jul 31, 2019 6:03 PM

When DeKalb County students return one week from Wednesday, they'll enter buildings that are much more secure. The district spent millions of dollars this summer keeping kids safe.

"It's not really secure. There's so many entry points," said Brynna Terry, a Plainview High graduate.

Terry said it's been easy for anyone to sneak in and out of school and while that comes in handy for students to sneak out for lunch, it means the high school is vulnerable.

"I don't think people, students pretty much, are in favor of it, but I think it could be a good thing," said Terry.

That vulnerability is why Superintendent Jason Barnett says they've installed fencing, an ID scanner for visitors and card swipe access doors.

"That way, visitors and guests when they come on to campus, they won't have free range and free access to wherever they want to go. It'll be a little bit of a process," said Barnett.

It's not just Plainview High School. Barnett says the improvements, which were budgeted for in the district, are coming to every DeKalb County school. When visitors come to the door, their licenses will be checked for criminal history.

"That's going to allow better security to make sure we know who has access to our students at all times," said Barnett.

Barnett says they haven't had any safety breaches so far, but say safety has been his priority since winning the election in 2016. He wants to be proactive to make sure no breaches happen.

"We want the students and facility to feel safe and focus on what's important in school, which is learning and taking care of our kids," said Barnett.

The majority of the schools in the DeKalb County school district will have these systems installed by the first week of August, so it's ready when school starts. All the schools in the DeKalb County district will have them installed by September 1st.

All 13 DeKalb County schools have resource officers. They added two SROs in October of last year so every school would have one. Funding came through a joint effort between the school board and county commission.

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