August 28, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria Schools adds security measure

ELYRIA — Elyria Schools is stepping up security measures in all of its schools.

From new security cameras at some schools to buzzer systems to monitor entrances to the building, parents are likely noticing a lot of changes.

Schools spokeswoman Amy Higgins would not talk specifics about the security plans for the district but said changes are being felt in every building.

“The biggest thing is all schools are locked down tighter,” she said Friday. “All visitors have to buzz, ring a bell or check in with an attendant to get into a school. Then, they are directed to go straight to the main office.”

Many of Elyria’s schools are older buildings and were designed with the main office far from the front door. The changes are being put in place to address that and to allow school officials to immediately know who is trying to access buildings, Higgins said.

The changes are an immediate response to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., as well as ongoing efforts by the district to keep school security plans up to date. The district regularly meets with local law enforcement to go over security plans and makes changes based on recommendations.

In Newtown, Conn., a gunman broke into the Sandy Hook Elementary School and gunned down 20 students and six adults before taking his own life.

Since the Dec. 14 mass shooting, schools across the state and country have been beefing up security.

In the immediate days following the tragedy, while parents were still in a heightened since of anxiety, a stronger police presence than usual was seen at a number of Lorain County schools as the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and other police agencies stepped up patrols around schools.

Higgins said the district is still assessing how much it will spend on increased security. She noted that any money spent will come through the FirstEnergy funds awarded to the district a couple of months ago through FirstEnergy’s Thanks a Million program. The award was for $50,000.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.