NC schools trying out new security ideas
RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- One month after the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, schools throughout the Triangle continue to examine and adjust their security plans to find better ways to protect students and staff.
The Wake County school system is still drawing up a new district-wide security plan, but individual principals are already making some changes.
At Harris Creek Elementary in northeast Raleigh for example, anyone who wants to get into the building has to be buzzed in from the office. That change started this week. The school doors remain locked during school hours.
In the event an intruder gets inside, there are new procedures in place to restrict access to classrooms.
Parents ABC11 spoke with Tuesday applauded the move.
"It gives you a sense of security knowing that they're being proactive in the needs of what families are looking for," said parent Marc Gowland.
Keeping kids safe is also top of mind for North Carolina's new boss at the Department of Public Safety. Kieran Shanahan was sworn in with the rest of Governor Pat McCrory's cabinet this past weekend.
"One of the first things I've been tasked with by our governor is the safety of children in schools," said Shanahan in an exclusive interview with ABC11.
Shanahan said he's looking at everything.
"I do think there are a lot of practical things we can do - tactical things - for example, putting locks on doors from the inside," he said.
A more controversial idea he's considering is a security force to protect every school in the state.
"It's probably likely that we can use retired law enforcement, retired military, to cross effectively have every school have its own plan and to have a presence in these schools," Shanahan offered.
Shanahan also wants to consider using NC Highway Patrol officers to watch over school campuses.
"Whether him cruising through the schools, literally in his cruiser, and perhaps walking the halls from time to time, just to have that presence," said Shanahan.
But there is one idea Shanahan will not be pushing, and that's giving guns to teachers.
"There are a number of specific strategies that we're going to look at, but one of them I do not believe would be arming teachers. I think that would be ill advised," he said.
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