SALT LAKE CITY — The tragedy that took place in Texas leaves school districts stressing the importance of security.
The Granite School District is currently renovating some schools to include newer technology and stricter access to classrooms.
“I meet people every day who are willing to put themselves on the line for children,” said Ben Horsley with the district.
Buildings will include strict keycard access, secure entryways, and brand new security cameras and systems.
“Whether it’s front-office staff or a teacher, they know that there’s a possibility this type of heinous thing that has occurred in Texas could happen here,” he said.
For one elementary school specifically, the renovation cost over one million dollars. Horsley said it’s a price worth paying.
“As [attackers] constantly evaluate ways to come and cause harm to our students and our staff, we’re constantly trying to find ways to thwart that,” he said.
In one building, the front office was moved closer to the main entryway in order to cut off access to hallways and classrooms. Visitors can only enter through the front office and must stay there unless an employee grants them access via keycard to other parts of the school.
Horsley said all doors are locked and that an alarm will sound off if they’re open for too long. The district also has a dispatch center monitoring all locations 24/7.
All volunteers and visitors must present identification that is immediately evaluated through a computer system.
“They just simply slide [the ID] through the machine like a credit card and it actually runs an instantaneous background check to identify whether the individual is a sex offender or not,” he said.
There are many more upgrades and training the district will not share publicly due to security reasons, but Horsley can assure families that students and educators are in good hands.
“You see people who are committed to children and wanting to make sure they can stay safe,” he said.