As violence in schools across the country increases; the pressure for schools to put stricter security measures into place increases as well. Last week the Greater Houlton Christian Academy held a mock lock down drill with local law enforcement to update it’s safety procedures, and as News Source 8’s Angela Christoforos reports several other pre-cautions have been put into place as well…
It’s another day in the classroom for these 6th graders at the Greater Houlton Christian Academy; an environment that schools administrators strive to make as safe as possible.
Head of Greater Houlton Christian Academy John Bishop said, “Really the critical thing is identifying people who come into our building that we don’t know making sure that everybody knows that everybody who is here has been authorized to be here.”
There’s a slew of new safety pre-cautions that have been put into place at the Academy. One of the latest security measures is a video intercom system. Visitors need to press a button, say who they are and why they’re here, and office staff can see each visitor clearly through a security camera.
Each visitor that comes into the building also has to sign in and wear a badge of identification on a lanyard. The Houlton Police department is also working closely with the school.
Lieutenant Dan Pelletier of the Houlton Police Department said, “Houlton Police has a school traffic program where we actually patrol the schools before and during schools. We want to make sure that the school is safe, the yards are safe.”
The school is locking it’s doors a bit more tightly, closing side entrances with the exception of emergencies, and taking preventative steps to ensure the safety of it’s students.
“We’re just wanting to make sure that we have done everything humanly possible to make sure this a safe place for them they should be able to come to school and not worry about some of those things,” said Bishop.
“The most common saying today is this could never happen here. But they are happening,” said Pelletier.
The Houlton Police department is also working with the Houlton High School, Houlton Elementary school, Southside school, and Hodgdon area schools on ensuring the safety of its students.