Superior schools beef up safetyNew security measures went on line at Superior High School and Superior Middle School this week. Recently installed intercom systems will create another layer of safety at school entry points.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
New security measures went on line at Superior High School and Superior Middle School this week. Recently installed intercom systems will create another layer of safety at school entry points.
Monday, the Superior Middle School’s buzzer was activated. The device, which includes an intercom and video, is to the left of the school’s main entrance. Anyone who wants to enter the building during the school day must now be buzzed in, as all doors will be locked. Assistant Principal Ryan Haroldson said the intercom system will be active from 8:05 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Two entrances at Superior High School have similar intercom systems, the main entrance off Catlin Avenue and the rear entrance by the teachers’ parking lot. Like the one at SMS, the intercoms are located to the left of the doors and include audio and visual. The devices will be activated today, according to SHS office staff. School doors will be locked from 8:30 a.m. to about 3 p.m. Anyone expecting to visit the high school during that time will need to press the call button and identify themselves. As always, visitors are required to sign in at the office.
“It does beef up security,” said SHS liaison officer Tom Johnson with the Superior Police Department. “It controls better who’s coming in and who’s not.”
Northern Lights Elementary School is the only school in the district without an active intercom system. But it is expected to be in use later this week, according to district buildings and grounds director Gary Niemi. There will be one on the school’s main door and one on the bus entrance.
The buzzer systems and an upgrade to radio communication at schools were approved by the Superior School Board in January following a shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. which left 20 students and six teachers dead.
The district’s five other elementary schools had buzzer/intercom systems installed in 2006 through a Community Oriented Policing Services grant. They are being upgraded to match the new systems at SHS, SMS and Northern Lights as parts become available, Niemi said.
“We do have one on all three of our doors,” said Bryant Elementary School principal Cindy Magnuson, and they started using them last school year. Each has a camera. If staff members don’t recognize visitors, they will be asked who they are, Magnuson said.
The majority of Great Lakes parents have been supportive of the move to lock all entrances and require visitors to buzz in, but a few have mentioned it is inconvenient.
“Inconvenience is a small price to pay for safety,” Magnuson said.