After the shooting in Newtown, Conn. schools across the country have dealt with ways to make buildings safer for students. Dexter is no exception.
According to Principal Kit Moran Dexter not only focuses on shooting security but also fire and tornado safety. If there’s a fire, doors can auto-lock to stop the fire from spreading. And if there’s a shooter trying to come into the building he said the secretaries in the office looking for people who enter the building unauthorized are the first line of defense.
Moran said, “The ladies in the front office really do a great job of looking for visitors. If somebody enters the building without signing in, they’ll stop em’.”
Even if a person does get by the office, Moran said there are over 120 cameras to locate the person. Deputy Jeremy Hilobuk has two large monitors in his office that cover not only the high school, but all schools in the district.
In addition, Hilobuk said in order to upgrade district security, all teachers, counselors and administration will have to go through a safety course in case a shooter does enter the building.
“It will take a while to have all of the administration trained, but I do think it will protect the school,” he said, adding that the training will consist of alerting teachers about how to handle intruders with weapons..
But while security training to stop an outside shooter is in progress, what if a student has a weapon? Hilobuk said that now, if a staff member is concerned or know that a student is having troubles and might be violent, they let a school counselor know. The counselor will follow up with the student’s parents/guardians to see what the issue is.
But what if there are weapons in their house that the child has access to? Dexter takes full precaution to this issue, Hilobuk said. In fact Moran said Hilobuk has visited students’ houses when a concern like this is raised.
“We have had a few instances where Hilobuk had to go to the families house to check on the family,” Moran said. “The school protects its students without making them feel they have no freedom. It’s kind of a freedom-order issue. We don’t want the students feeling they’re under lockdown, but we do want them to feel safe.”