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TSD Superintendent: Security Changes to Remain in Effect 'Until Further Notice'

"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," Troy Schools Superintendent Barbara Fowler wrote in a re

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:

Dear Parents,

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.

Barbara Fowler
Superintendent

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A Concerned Citizen December 19, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Locking the doors will only briefly slow down someone armed and with intent to commit a felony. As they say: "locks only keep honest people out". Address the real issue here by dealing with threats before they arrive, at a school, or any place. Identify those that are at risk and deal with them before they become a threat to the community. Keep guns and all weapons out of the hands of those that cannot pass a simple screening to evaluate their fitness to own, possess or be trained in how to use weapons. Keep all weapon locked away safely so the wrong people can't just walk in and take them. We can secure our schools out the wazoo, but until we deal with the root cause, it's just a band-aid on the problem, and the perpetrators might just move on to other, easier targets...Day Care Centers for instance.
ann galen December 19, 2012 at 04:03 PM
None of these so-called security measures listed by Barbara Fowler will do anything. They border on insanity because of their total ineffectiveness. Barbara says there will be an unarmed adult stationed at the door. If there is an unarmed adult stationed at the door of the Troy schools, why would any mass murderer care about an unarmed adult at the door? Locked doors are not any good if the doors or windows are made of glass - the Conn school had locked doors and it had no effect even though the now deceased principle told us her locked doors would make them safe-it didnt. Besides, a mass murderer can just come into the school when all the kids are arriving and the doors are not locked - there is no rule that murderers must enter the school only after the doors are locked. The only real protection for our schools was vetoed yesterday by the Michigan governor. Gov Snyder yesterday declared thru his veto, that all Michigan schools are to remain completely unprotected and defenseless, and that from now on, all schools in Michigan will only allow murderers bring guns into the school - kind of stupid. All of the mass murders for the last 50 years have been in "gun-free zones". Insanity is repeating over and over what does not work. Making victims defenseless: does not protect them.
Linda December 19, 2012 at 10:08 PM
I applaud Barbara Fowler in these temporary efforts. To attack her about the same and say they "border on insanity" makes no sense. Although these attempts may not thwart an attack, it is a proactive step in addressing the issue. None of us has all the answers and to think we do is ludicrous (insane). This is a bigger issue than "guns" and far beyond the reach of the Troy School District. I would hope that our legislators come together to delve into this serious problem and arrive at the best possible solution for all involved. Unfortunately, as we all know, a mad man with a mission will stop at nothing to achieve the same.
cookiepro2 December 19, 2012 at 10:23 PM
If the bill had passed, I don't know who would be the CPLers at the schools protecting our students. Certainly not the students themselves and I hadn't heard any teacher voices clamoring to carry guns. In fact, the MEA and AFT urged a veto on this bill. Also, the Michigan Catholic Conference, as well as numerous other religious leaders did not want this bill to be passed, they don't want guns in churches, open or concealed.

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