Fox Point-Bayside parents and residents are urging the school district to improve safety, with some saying a buzz-in system is imperative at the local schools.
“Although it’s not going to stop a mad man, there is no reason to have open doors for all to waltz in,” Melissa LeClaire wrote on Fox Point-Bayside Patch’s Facebook page.
Superintendent Rachel Boechler told Patch that a buzz-in system is one enhanced security measure under consideration in the district after the Newtown, CT school tragedy. School officials are reviewing their security plan, which was updated in January.
Boechler said Tuesday morning that officials were meeting today to review security; she did not have a cost estimate on a buzz-in system but said it would exceed $10,000 and thus would need board approval.
Unlike some local districts, the middle and elementary schools (Bayside Middle School and Stormonth Elementary School) in the district do not have locked front doors. Boechler said that people have to check in with a secretary. Other school doors are locked.
In some districts, a buzz-in system is used whereby people have to announce who they are before they are let in through a locked front door. However, in Newtown, the buzz-in system didn’t stop the killer, who forced his way in anyhow.
Some Fox Point-Bayside parents and residents told Patch that they want it — but that it’s hardly the only preventative fix. No one on the Patch Facebook page who weighed in opposed the buzz-in system, although opinions were sharply divided over gun control issues.
“The two key issues are mental health/illness in this country and gun control,” wrote Gillian Smith. “We need to tackle both issues. If we continue to allow insane people to arm themselves like they're going to war, they're going to go to war! Both issues are extremely important, but will take time. Meanwhile, we need to try to better protect our children. We should have a buzzer system and mechanisms in place to trigger police the instant glass at an entrance is shattered or have an armed guard.”
Michael LeClaire also supported a buzzer but wanted something more dramatic.
“Yes they should! And......wait for it.....the teachers and staff should be armed! It seems to me knowing that if you come in here and brand any kind of firearm someone will take you down before you even get a shoot off is a pretty big deterrent!”
However, parents are far more divided on the notion of arming teachers than they are about a buzz-in system.
“Yes! They should,” wrote Rachel Arnold of a buzz-in system. But she added, “No, the teachers should NOT be armed. Teachers are people too. With issues and problems just like any other human being. Not comfortable with ANYONE having a gun around my small child.”
Julie Olson sided with Arnold. “Buzzers to get into entrances is a must. But teachers wearing weapons? How would it be a good idea to have a firearm in a classroom full of children? Honestly. How does that make an ounce of sense?”
Morgan Blockel said she was surprised the buzz-in system was already not in place. “They absolutely should! I'm shocked they don't!”
Kristen Grunow Ricigliano also objected to the idea of arming teachers.
“No sense. According to a comprehensive Harvard University study, more guns=more deaths, not fewer. Period. The Connecticut shooter was in body armor. How many teachers would be trained to effectively take out someone in body armor without further endangering themselves or the people around them?”
Mark Cyganiak felt the buzz-in system was imperative but didn’t think more gun control was the answer.
“Most schools have a buzz in system. I find it funny that people are more concerned with taking guns away from people. Instead, the focus should be on the metal health concerns of individuals. How do you expect to remove 200 million guns from US citizens when our government can not even remove 10 million illegal aliens.” He said studies have shown that “there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime.”
Do you think the Fox Point-Bayside School District should install buzzers to get in the front doors of its schools?