In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, which left 20 young children and six adults dead Friday morning, the Troy School District is conducting a thorough review of the security at its schools, Troy Schools spokesperson Kerry Birmingham said.
The changes including locking the doors to all elementary and middle schools in the district and requiring parents and visitors to sign in and possibly show identification.
In a letter to parents from Troy Schools Superintendent Barbara Fowler, she assures parents that the changes are proactive, and there have been no threats made against any of the schools:
In the wake of last Friday’s tragedy in Connecticut, we are in the process of taking a closer look at the security of our school buildings and the protection of our students and staff. As part of this review, we are mindful of the feedback we have received from many parents with the suggestion to lock the main entrance of each school building during the school day. Traditionally, we have not done this to allow parents access to their children and children’s schools throughout the day.
However, at this time, we have decided to implement the following short-term measures. Please be aware that these measures are temporary as we conduct a review of our building security practices. During this process, we will work with our TSD crisis committee, existing security personnel and the Troy Police to determine what long term security changes, if any, should be implemented going forward. Until further notice:
- All doors to our school buildings, including the Main Entrance doors, will be locked during the school day. The only exception to this will be Athens and Troy high schools (see below.)
- Anyone attempting to enter a school will be instructed to call a phone number for entry or will be greeted by an adult stationed at the door.
- Access to our schools will be restricted during the instructional day. ALL visitors should be prepared to show photo identification and to provide a reason for needing access to the building.
- Visitors must ALSO sign in at the main office of each school and will be directed there as they enter the building.
- Please understand that our staff or volunteers may not be able to immediately answer the door at all times during the school day. Accordingly, you may have to wait for entry to the building.
- Parent volunteers who are regularly scheduled to be in the building will be allowed access. However, we ask that parents or other family members without a pre-arranged reason for being in the schools refrain from visiting so that staff can attend to students rather than being re-directed to answer the door.
- Elementary school parents planning to attend their children’s holiday parties this week will be allowed access, but will have to go through the screening process outlined above. We ask for your patience, as this is likely to take a fair amount of time with the number of parents expected to be in the buildings.
At AHS and THS, the main entrance doors will remain unlocked, because security personnel already screen visitors entering the building. Visitors to those schools will still have to provide photo identification and check in at the main office.
I want to make it clear that the Troy School District has not received any threats, nor do we anticipate anything out of the ordinary. We are implementing these changes during the security review process to alleviate concerns while we study the best course of action. We appreciate your cooperation as we restrict access to our buildings during this process. It’s difficult to say how long the review will take, so please be aware that these measures will be employed until further notice and will remain in place when school resumes following Winter Break.
Thank you for your concern and attention to this matter.