NOBLESVILLE, Ind.– Ever since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, school officials across the country have been looking at ways to make their schools safer.
And in Noblesville, the first day of school brings more security.
The principal at Hinkle Creek Elementary showed Fox59 some of the new procedures, including a vestibule area where parents and other visitors must wait to be buzzed in.
Once you’re in the main office, you’ll need to show the secretary your ID, which is then scanned into the computer. They’ll also take your picture, and give you a visitor badge, which has a special sticker that dissolves to reveal a stop sign if you’ve been in the building more than a few hours.
Officials admit the new procedures may take some getting used to, but parents say it’s worth the wait.
“I think it’s great,” said parent Jennifer Dewitt. “Anything we can do to ensure better safety for our kids here at school and ensure any other tragedies don’t happen.”
“Our goal is always to keep our children as safe as possible, and create the safest environment we can for our kids,” said student services director Mark Booth.
All your information will be entered into a database so you don’t have to go thru the entire procedure every time. The district also has armed resource officers and police officers in some of its schools.
“You would never expect something like what happened in Connecticut to happen here,” said Hinkle Creek principal Jack Lawrence. “But as proved out in Connecticut, it happens, so we have to take every precaution that we can.”
“We’re always thinking about the safety of our kids,” said Booth.
“It’s immeasurable how much they mean to us,” said Dewitt. “If it’s a couple more minutes out of my day, or a couple seconds, it’s completely worth it.”
This is the district’s first year using a “balanced” calendar, putting students back in school earlier than they’ve ever been before.
“The parents have come in and they’ve adjusted to the new system,” said Lawrence. “It is new to everybody, but it’s been a wonderful first day of school.”