SSISD beefs up security at primary campuses
Access during school hours limited to front entrances
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Oct. 12, 2006 - Sulphur Springs School Superintendent Patsy Bolton announced Thursday morning that all outside doors at all primary campuses would now be locked as a security measure.

Only the front entrances at Early Childhood Learning Center, along with Austin, Bowie, Lamar and Travis elementary schools and Douglas Intermediate, will be unlocked, Bolton reported.

�The step was taken after school trustees and administrators took a close look at campus security during a regular meeting earlier this week.

"As a measure of concern for the safety and security of the students in Sulphur Springs ISD, outside access to all elementary buildings will now be limited to the front office area," Bolton said Thursday morning. "These doors will remain locked during the school day."

Bolton said there have been a number of concerns voiced by parents in light of recent events seen on television depicting serious incidents. She said parents all wanted to know how the school district was going to protect their children.

Earlier today, workers in Pennsylvania demolished a one-room Amish schoolhouse where a gunman fatally shot five girls and wounded five others 10 days ago.

On Sept. 27 in Bailey, Colo., a man held several girls hostage in a school before killing one and himself.

Two days later, a 15-year-old boy in Wisconsin allegedly killed a high school principal.

On Monday, a 13-year-old student in Joplin, Mo., carried an AK-47 into his middle school and fired a shot into a ceiling. He left the building and was apprehended by police.

In the 2005-06 school year, 15 people were killed in school-related shootings, said Kenneth Trump, a national school safety expert who tracks violence data. That number of school-shooting deaths has ranged from three to 24 in recent years, Trump’s records show.

In the period from 1992 to 2002, 462 students and adults died at school by homicide or suicide, according to the latest government figures. Most of those killed were children.

All outside doors will be secured at 8:30 a.m. at ECLC, while doors at the elementary schools and the intermediate school will be locked at 8:05 a.m. each day.

The superintendent said the new locks installed on the doors have "panic bars" which will allow the doors to unlock and open from the inside, but will also sound an alarm in the campus administrator's office.

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