NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Even more than a year after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, schools in our area are working to make parents, teachers, and students feel safe.
Part of that work includes a trial run at a new security system for schools in New Hanover County.
"We are able to see visitors coming in and out of the building," said Ogden Elementary School Principal Tammy Bruestle. "In the past, they would come in the building, and we expected them to check in the office. But sometimes it gets a little hairy."
Visitors check into Ogden Elementary by pressing a call button at the front door. From there, a secretary in the front office talks with the visitor and opens the door once they feel comfortable with the visitor's reason for stopping by.
"You know there are crazy people. Things happen, but this is a deterrent. So, this will help with all aspects of safety," Bruestle said.
The school board agreed that schools in New Hanover County needed more security. That's why they decided to fund the project at $3,000 per camera system.
"If we can create a situation to occur to beef up the security especially in the schools where we have our most vulnerable children in elementary schools, we're going to do that." Deputy Superintendent Dr. Rick Holliday said.
And while most parents approve of the new security features, some say it may not be enough.
"I don't know that it would deter somebody who actually wants to do harm to somebody within the school," Jolie Mueller said. "I think where there's a will there's a way, but I do think it's better than nothing."
And officials agree. They say this is just the first step in making New Hanover County schools safer.
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