Eye on school safety - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Eye on school safety

New security features in place in Coeur d'Alene buildings, buses

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Posted: Sunday, January 5, 2014 12:00 am

Students attending Coeur d’Alene public schools will return from holiday break Monday to buildings and buses that have new security features in place.

One of the enhancements will make it more difficult to gain entry into Coeur d’Alene public schools when classes are in session.

All buildings are now outfitted with new equipment — a buzzer, intercom and security camera — that will be used to control access to the schools at the main entrances.

“It’s a big culture change, and it’s one that we’re hoping the public understands and embraces in terms of keeping our kids, and our staff, safe,” said Superintendent Matt Handelman.

The buzz-in system will be phased into use district-wide. School officials hope to have the system in use at all schools by the end of February.

A three-week pilot of the controlled access equipment will begin Wednesday at Ramsey Magnet School, Woodland Middle School and Coeur d’Alene High School.

At the start of each school day, all doors to the schools will be locked to outside entry, with access to the building available only through the main entrance. All doors will continue to open freely from the inside out.

Before entering the school, parents and visitors will be required to push an intercom button, identify themselves and state the purpose of their visit.

“For people who visit our schools regularly, who volunteer, or parents who come to pick up their kids, it might take a little extra time,” Handelman said. “It’s also going to be a big change for people inside the schools.”

School office staff members will be trained to make visual and verbal determinations before granting anyone entry into their buildings. Visitors who are not recognized will be asked to show photo identification.

Another major change is the installation of an enhanced video surveillance and communication system on each of the district’s 66 school buses.

There will now be three video cameras rolling on all school buses whenever students are being transported. Previously, the district had a limited amount of school bus surveillance equipment, leaving some buses without video monitoring.

The hope is that the video surveillance will cut down on bullying and other types of behaviors that are distracting to bus drivers.

The cameras on buses are also a big change for students, Handelman said.

Before coming to Coeur d’Alene, Handelman was a principal in Spokane.

“The first time I pulled a small group of kids in to show them video of themselves on the bus, they were wide-eyed. They didn’t realize they were being caught on video,” he said.

In addition to the entry access system and the video cameras on the buses, students at Lake City and Coeur d’Alene high schools will return to find some structural changes to their schools’ front offices.

The renovations will provide a direct line-of-sight from the school offices to the front doors of the buildings, something that was previously lacking. It adds another layer of security surveillance.

Most of the new equipment, hardware and infrastructure is being paid for with $1.4 million from a property tax levy approved by voters last March. School officials sought the funds for the security enhancements following the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

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  • slave posted at 12:25 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    slave Posts: 463

    Fantasy is your world Teague. Hitler was no more a Christian than Judas. Wake up for your own sake. You've been duped into believing lies. That's the nature of deception, you don't know when it's happening to you.

  • will-- posted at 9:41 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    will-- Posts: 1009

    In a hundred years the truth will be evident to you, I hope you end up making the right decision.

    "By the way, Hitler was a Christian"

    You can put a mouse in a cookie jar and it doesn't make it a cookie.

  • Miketeague posted at 12:28 pm on Mon, Jan 6, 2014.

    Miketeague Posts: 2247

    Slave, I hate to break it to you slick but most of us have read the little black book you tout way to often. The only difference is most of us are smart enough to know that the bible is a bigger fantasy than Harry Potter and have chosen to base our life on reality. By the way, Hitler was a Christian, what does that tell you.

  • will-- posted at 11:47 am on Mon, Jan 6, 2014.

    will-- Posts: 1009

    So how many of these school busses now have passenger seat belts?

  • lola123 posted at 6:57 am on Mon, Jan 6, 2014.

    lola123 Posts: 342

    Slave, "Homeschooled, academic scholarships to technical and Christian private universities across the country" that explains everything.
    Oh Yea how, are "christian" anything not brainwashing? Why are the sheep like you referred to as "The Flock" ?

  • slave posted at 4:26 pm on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    slave Posts: 463

    Mañana: you only believe what you want to as you hide your little head in the ground and wait for someone to save your day. Misspelled words are also commonplace when your hands are twice the size of the little smartphone pad. I guess that thought never crossed your mind. Oh, wait, I was being presumptuous.

    I couldnt give a rip what you believe about the truth. You have to learn from the puppet masters everything you wish to speak, because you are sooooo very ignorant.

    You will get everything you deserve for buying into the blinding system. Hitler did it quite well and the homosexuals and liberals are successfully repeating it with the most recent generations. Wake up from your fantasy induced myopia.

  • manana posted at 3:37 pm on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    manana Posts: 179

    Whadda kidder. I'm betting most of the mental acuity you proclaim for your children came from your spouse, assuming THAT person can spell 'university.' Of course, I actually have to admit that I find it incredibly improbable that any of what you claim is true.

  • slave posted at 8:37 am on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    slave Posts: 463

    The schools teach to the lowest level. I do know what I'm talking about Lola. My children withdrew from the public schools years ago and were Homeschooled. They tested in the top 5% on SAT AND ACT exams and received full ride academic scholarships to technical and Christian private unoversities across the country for their " real intelligence", not for attending an institution that just brainwashes them into the socialist method of oneworld everything.

    Jim Jones would have loved you...just keep listening to the BOE. they absolutely will lead you (astray).

  • oscar posted at 7:55 am on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    oscar Posts: 1379

    Lola is absolutely correct. Teachers can only teach, it takes the child wanting to learn and putting in the effort to complete the circle. You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. North Idaho has a highly educated and dedicated group of teachers and I have no complaints with the education my children received, but then again, we were active learners, not passive receivers of information. This added security is an added reality of our times.

  • lola123 posted at 6:27 am on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    lola123 Posts: 342

    It's a different world out there today and you are either too ignorant or uninformed to understand.
    Schools teach what they can in their curriculum and it is up to the parents to make sure the kids understand that they learn, study and work towards a personal goal for themselves. The education is fine it is people like you who want to blame everyone else for their children's shortcomings.

  • slave posted at 1:38 am on Sun, Jan 5, 2014.

    slave Posts: 463

    Congratulations...Kootenai County Public Safety Building East Wing.

    What an excellent use of taxpayer money. No more school levy $.

    It's always for the "kids education". This is a joke. If a kid wants to create violence, They can with or without these measures. How about vouchers which promote good education for the schools who are teaching kids. Public schools are a joke anyways. It's just babysitting. The education public school children get is horrible and lacking. They are sheep. No original thoughts anymore. Just remakes of the good ol days.

    Sad day this news brings of heightened security and heightened fears.

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