More Security Updates Planned For School Campuses

Johnston County Public Schools Chief of Staff Dolores Gill discusses security updates with the Johnston County School Board during their April 2019 monthly meeting. Photo

Bids For 39 School Security Vestibules To Be Awarded In May

The Johnston County Board of Education received an update this month on security work that has already taken place at the 43 public school campuses in the county and additional work that is underway or will soon be taking place.

Recent school shootings and acts of violence on school campuses across the nation has prompted local school leaders to improve security measures as quickly as possible.

Chief of Staff Dolores Gill told the school board that Security Assessments have been completed at all school sites in Johnston County. The assessments have been shared with principals and Chase Ferrell, the Auxiliary and Safety Officer for Johnston County Schools, to ensure all security issues have been addressed.

Gill said Johnston County Schools will be one of the first in the state to have “nearly-bulletproof glass” installed in the coming months in the entrance areas of all public schools.  They are called security vestibules. Currently, only 4 of the 43 schools in the county currently have security vestibules, a secure point of access to school buildings controlled by office personnel.  The school board will award bids as early as their May 2019 meeting to have security vestibules installed at the remaining 39 school campuses in the county.  If the bid is approved in May as anticipated, all 39 new vestibules could be completed by December 2019.

Also, a recently-awarded grant will allow the school system to outfit all mobile units with consistent signage. The signage will benefit law enforcement, fire, EMS and first responders to quickly located these areas in the event of an emergency or crisis situation.

Smithfield Selma High recently had 61 new interior and exterior security cameras installed.  Clayton High is currently receiving a complete update of interior and exterior cameras.

All middle school buildings will receive upgrades and exterior cameras beginning in August.

All high schools continue to utilize the card entrance system with students entering as freshmen having new cards enabled, Gill said.  All other students no longer attending will have their cards deactivated.

In addition, Emergency Management plans for all school sites are currently being reviewed with Elementary, Middle, and High School counselors.

School board member Todd Sutton thank Gill for the report saying school safety is important on all campuses.