It used to be that a person just could walk right into any school. There was usually a tiny little sign near the entrance pointing toward the office, and visitors to the school were expected to come on in and make their way to the office. Most of the time, if the visitor happened to pass any teachers or staff in the hallway, the teacher or staff member would simply smile and ask if the visitor needed directions to the office.
Things sure have changed! Now, visitors are scrutinized before being allowed into the school building—if they are even allowed in at all. Many schools require visitors to call ahead before being permitted to enter the building. Even parents are given the cold shoulder when it comes to visiting the school at an unplanned time. Everyone is suspect.
Ever since school shootings have happened several times across the country, nearly all schools have greatly tightened up their security. All types of schools, from elementary to secondary and including public, private, and charter schools have implemented new security features designed to protect the students.
A great deal of schools has buzzer locks on all outside doors. Potential visitors press a button and speak to someone in the building about their reason for wanting or needing entry, then the person with whom they spoke decides whether or to “buzz” the visitor in.
Many schools also have laminated identification cards (similar to drivers’ licenses) that students must use for entry each morning. Quite often, this system is coupled with metal detectors. The metal detectors are used to keep students from brining in any guns, knifes, or other destructive tools or weapons.
Increased security is not likely to go away anytime soon; in fact, it is likely to increase. Unless someone comes up with a better solution, tight security will be everywhere soon enough.