It was the first day back to school for many students across the Valley and while the kids enjoyed a summer away from the classroom, many schools took advantage of the off time to up security procedures within the building.

Schools have always made safety a priority but after multiple shootings last school year, including one in Indianapolis, many districts have been re-evaluating and updating security procedures before kids returned to class this week.

Over the summer corporations like vigo county have been working hard to upgrade security.

“We have added a lot of different things, school cameras and we continue to do that. We have also added some extra school protection officers in our school. Anytime you do that you want to make sure you plan properly and implement properly,” says Tom Balitewicz, Director of Student Services, VCSC.

VCSC security officers have gone through various trainings throughout the summer to brush up on tactics and learn the new security equipment that is being introduced into the buildings.

“Anytime you add something to the tool box of safety you want to know how to use it and use it appropriately,” says Balitewicz.

While pre-existing schools are adding resources, Tecumseh-Harrison Elementary in Vincennes had the opportunity to start from scratch when completely renovating the school.

“This building has some extra additional layers that we did not have. In order to come into contact with the students during the course of the day you have to go through three sets of doors.”says Superintendent, Greg Parsley.

In addition, North East School Corporation and South Vermillion have also added resources to their buildings that allow another element of protection for the students.
Parsley explains this movement in school security shows you can never be too safe, “I mean certainly with the security of the building entrances, with SRO’s, with having constant conversations and table talks as it pertains with safety and security with our staff, there has just been a whole myriad.”

These corporations say they will continue to push for safer schools and more resources in order to bring peace of mind to families.

“Circumstances change and with those changing circumstances I think you have to look very carefully and decide what would be most effective to implement in the school,” says Balitewicz.
 
One of the biggest changes schools made over the summer is the increase in school resource officers. This allow them to constantly have a trained professional inside the school at all times whose sole job is to focus on safety and security.