BOUNTIFUL, Utah -- The first week of school meant enhanced security for Bountiful Elementary School.
In the past, people could just walk through the front door and have instant access to the hallways and classrooms of the school. Visitors were asked to check in with the office first, but it was something that could and would be avoided.
“It was very, very easy for someone to slip by,” Principal Debbie Marshall said.
“I have seen the news footage like every other parent, of school shootings, school abductions, things like that, and quite frankly it scared me,” Brenda Raccuia said.
Raccuia, former President of the Bountiful Elementary PTA, spearheaded the $10,000 fundraising campaign to upgrade security in the school. The enhancements were made over the summer.
Now, the only door that the public can us to access the school is through the office. The main doors to the school are locked, unless you have an employee ID. Once in the office, visitors will have to follow all the proper procedures, including signing in and wearing a visitor badge.
“We tend to think this will not happen to me, so Bountiful Elementary School has taken a step to ensure or at least reduce the risk of it happening to them and that’s what’s exciting here,” said Chief Tom Ross of the Bountiful Police Department.
Marshall also has an electronic system with her at all times. One push of a button will lock every exterior door of the school.
Teacher Linda Crismer knows all too well the value of security. A few years ago she found herself in a frightening situation with a former student.
“We had a student who made threats to me and four or five other teachers,” Crismer said. “By us taking these steps, we are pretty much being as proactive as we can possibly be.”