Security buzzer installed at Camden-Rockport Elementary School
Rockport — As of Jan. 24, anyone wanting to gain access inside Camden-Rockport Elementary School will need to be buzzed in by school staff.
All exterior doors will be locked from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and anyone wishing to enter the building will need to press the button on the newly installed buzzer system, which is located to the right of the handicap door at the main entrance.
“The tragic event at Sandy Hook Elementary School truly hit close to home for all educators and parents alike,” said Assistant Principal Shawna Kurr. “Many schools throughout the area began locking their front doors at that time, even with no buzzer system installed."
Kurr added, “We decided to wait that out and have a thoughtful discussion at the Parent Teacher Association, administrative team meetings and at the school board level. We wanted to make sure we were making a thoughtful decision, not simply a reactionary one.”
After pressing the button, office staff will ask the person(s) to identify themselves and state the reason for their visit. In some cases, photo identification may be required. Visitors will still need to report to the main office and acquire a visitor pass before going to any other part of the building.
“Our students are safer because we are able to better monitor who is in our building. The distance the office is from the entrance poses a safety risk,” Kurr said.
Kurr also stressed the administration would never want to give parents or staff a false sense of security and said previously instituted safety protocols are still discussed and practiced with staff and students.
“It's not simply about locking the front door, it's about the Camden-Rockport community as a whole, watching out for each other and speaking up if we see something suspicious or concerning,” Kurr said.
Kurr said school administration understands that a locked door may not prevent an event like Sandy Hook, but it will go a long way in their ability to keep track of who is in the building.
“We recognize that a secured entry may not prevent a major incident from occurring in our school,” she said. “It will however, increase our ability to effectively monitor who is in the school building and maintain protection and safety for all of our students, especially those with custody issues and protection from abuse orders.”
Dwight Collins is a reporter/photographer for The Camden Herald.
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