SHS looks to improve security - KOTA Territory News

SHS looks to improve security

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Parents throughout the country and in KOTA Territory started to worry about school security after the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

Sheridan school officials are planning on renovating the high school to improve security.  The Sheridan County School District #2 school board recently approved going forward with a facelift to the school's entrance, so officials know about everyone in the building at all times.

"I do think that there could be a little bit better security at the high school," said Barbara Franck, a parent of a Sheridan High School senior.

When anyone visits Sheridan High School they're asked to check in at the main office, but they could wander to any part of the school before anyone else might notice.

"You're supposed to check in at the front desk, but I don't know if it's as safe as it could be," said Franck.

"When you enter the front doors you really have access to all wings of the school," said SHS Assistant Principal Larry Hurst.

So the school will redo the front entrance in a way that forces all visitors to stop at the office.

"There would be no option.  I know that our resource officer will have his office in that part of the wing, so people will have to go by law enforcement," said Hurst.

The district insists the project was talked about long before the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy.

"It's been planned for at least four years and it's just now the funding's become available for that," said Hurst.

"We did go to the state and secured $800,000 of capital funding in order to do this," said Julie Carroll, the district's facilities director.

Parents like these changes and hope the district stays away from more drastic measures.

"We don't want to go to the extreme, I don't think teachers should have guns, said Franck.

Some of the district's newer buildings feature similar-style entrances, like the Junior High School, where visitors must check in before walking the main hallway.

District administrators will accept bids on the project this spring and they expect to have most of the construction done before school starts this fall.

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