School Board Approves Increasing Security at Van Buren High School

The Van Buren School Board voted unanimously at a meeting Tuesday (Jan. 14) to increase security at the district’s senior high school. Principal Eddie Tipton said the improvements will begin at the main entrance which has two sets of several glass doors.

Tipton said the plan includes removing a glass wall between the two sets of entry doors. The glass wall, which separates the entryway from the main office, will be replaced with a doorway, and the second set of glass doors will be locked.

The new doorway will be monitored by security cameras and will redirect traffic through the main office, according to Tipton. He said this will limit access to the building during the day and give school officials control over who enters.

“They get buzzed in so we’ll be able to buzz them in and see who they are before we even let them in the building,” said Tipton.

Once buzzed into the building, visitors will be greeted by the school resource officer stationed at his newly built office inside the main door.

“We just think having this way to route people through past a police officer is going to make things a lot safer,” he said.

According to Tipton, the $28,000 renovations will also include installing new locking systems throughout the building. He believes the changes will create a better learning environment for students and faculty.

“When kids feel safer, they act better, they learn more easily, and our faculty feels good about not having to worry about somebody getting in our building.”

Tipton said plans are already in the works and the project could be completed by spring break.

4 comments

  • Danielle

    If it is going to be anything like what they did at the elementary schools, (which sounds like it) It is just going to make teachers and other school personnel MORE suspicious of all parents wanting to be buzzed in. My children have attended the same school for 5 years, I am still met with ‘Can I help you?’ ‘What do you need?’ ‘I am not sure you can come in’ All said at different times picking up my children. I was almost not allowed in the building to attend a girl scout meeting for my daughter. (It was after school hours-they did not want to let me in) Not to mention the looks and statements given to me by them when I was picking up my daughter from 4-H and my car overheated. Having to wait 10 minutes to be ‘buzzed in’ for school functions because they were not ready (they were running late, we all waited in the cold). The list goes on and on. Yes, I think something should be done for decreasing the potential violence that can happen, but I think it has turned into more of a reminder of how vulnerable they can be. The constant reminder is making them paranoid.

  • Retired

    The bottom line is “children’s” safety. Yes, it will inconvenience those on the “outside” of the school sometimes when security is utmost in everyone’s minds “inside” the school system. That is just the way our society works, but it has to be implemented because of the times we live in. Gone are the days of unlocked homes and now unlocked schools.

  • Danielle

    The fact is, parents are discouraged from coming to the school at all. We used to be able to volunteer to help out in classrooms and help the teachers. We have been told our services are no longer required. Despite having had a background check done to volunteer at 2 different organizations. I was at the school this year 3 times a week to pick up my child from events-they have been attending the same school for 5 years, yet this year I am a stranger. With the lack of parental involvement at the school (mine), my child has been segregated from the rest of the class. This is having to be resolved over phone calls because I am not welcome at the school. (Though they have not said that directly) If the schools are such a dangerous place they need to have armed officers, lock-downs, security doors, and being suspicious of everyone walking in, then it is not a safe place for my children to be in. I am looking into homeschooling my children.

  • AGT C

    My child’s school you have to be buzzed in and I have never had any trouble getting in the school.I still volunteer in my child’s class and they let me in the school.I do not know what school you guys are referring to but my child’s elementary school has no problem with me but I have taken the time to get to know staff.I feel lots better knowing not just anybody can walk in my children’s school’s.

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