Illinois School Districts Increasing Campus Security

Illinois School Districts Increasing Campus Security

Since the fatal Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., some school districts in the Fox Valley region of Illinois are increasing security at their campuses. According to officials, some of the security upgrades were already in motion, but the Parkland shooting has heightened the focus on student safety.

Since the fatal Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., some school districts in the Fox Valley region of Illinois are increasing security at their campuses. According to officials, some of the security upgrades were already in motion, but the Parkland shooting has heightened the focus on student safety.

St. Charles School District 303 is working on a planned $1 million in security upgrades, part of a series of security upgrades that began to be implemented about three years ago. According to Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Seth Chapman, in addition to the Parkland shooting raising awareness of school security, the district received more money this year in allocated funds for the upgrades and was able to proceed with upgrades faster.

“I think it would be fair to say that while we were planning on doing this work anyway now that we have the funds available, certainly the attention to this issue is certainly making it a lot more accelerated,” Chapman said. “We would be doing more buildings this year regardless, but would we be doing all of those? I can’t say for sure.”

The planned upgrades to St. Charles schools include bullet-resistant glass or coating, designed to prevent glass from shattering where an intruder could shoot it out and crawl through the hole created. The district also wants to add a second layer of security to sign-in and building entrances.

On Aurora’s East Side, East Aurora School District 131 spokesman Tom Jackson said they are “having discussions about safety and security, and certainly Parkland has put that more to the forefront for us.” He said that district officials have been having more “intentional” conversations about security with officials in other districts and the Aurora Police Department since the shooting.

About a year ago, work began to add more security cameras and upgrade existing cameras at schools in the East Aurora district. In the past months, schools have also increased the random searching of students with security wands. According to Jackson, the district increased their searches in part to ensure safety but also to help students and staff who see the wanding feel safer.

Batavia School District 101 is also increasing some security measures, though a spokeswoman said they were not related to the Parkland shooting or any other threat. In a statement, the Batavia Police Department said they had “dedicated more time and resources” to monitor and protect schools, including an increased presence during student drop-off and pick-up, a visible presence inside schools, and random outside perimeter checks by uniformed officers.

“We, as a police department, are striving to ensure an environment where children and staff feel safe and secure,” the statement read.

Digital Edition

  • Campus Security & Life Safety Magazine - April 2018

    April 2018

    Featuring:

    • Creating A Camera Use Policy
    • Getting The High Marks
    • Campus Survival
    • Spanning The District
    • Vehicle Alert

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