Southern Utah News Articles
Safe schools, priority one - part two, school safety - district actions
Editor’s note-the Kane School District, and local county and city government and law enforcement have made ‘keeping our schools safe’ a priority.
Examining and improving Kane County School safety has been underway for some time now.
“It started about a year and a half ago,” explained Kane School Superintendent Ben Dalton, of some of the new school safety features of district schools. “We did a walk through with law enforcement, and they gave us suggestions on how we could improve the buildings, and make them safer. We have made substantial changes.”
The safety improvements cost the district over $500,000. The board, superintendent and staff supported enhanced safety in schools and made that a priority.
Probably the most noticeable is having a single point of entry during school hours. KHS school secretary Deb Jones has been moved to an office adjacent to the front doors. That way she has visual access to the parking lot, school visitors and law enforcement. If you pass scrutiny by her recognition or stating your business inside, she will buzz open the doors and let you in. Staff, administration and law enforcement all have electronic key cards.
“All schools have a call button and cameras inside and outside,” said Dalton, “giving authorities a good video source if there’s a problem. Another safety feature is a film on the windows and doors to make them clear and secure.”
“The school district and Kane County Sheriff’s Office partnered to fund School Resource Officer Kelly Lamb,” said Dalton. “He visits the schools and checks on safety issues, and also visits with kids when there’s an issue.”
Lamb said tips about students or different emergencies come in by word of mouth from other kids, parents, staff and law enforcement. Students can also report a tip anonymously to the Safeutah app expressing what their concern is. The tip is then considered or acted on, and quickly channeled to the proper authority. Teachers would then take students to a safe place.
Drills for different situations are practiced by the student body and administration, so they will be more familiar with protocol during a lock-down or if an emergency comes up.
“We are doing all we can to keep our students and staff safe. That’s a top priority to the Kane County School Board,” added Dalton.