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We looked at some of the school districts' changes for back-to-school security

Posted at 1:02 PM, Sep 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-04 14:39:45-04

Safety has always been a top priority for education institutions and now more than ever.

From double entries and surveillance cameras to a district-wide safety campaign, 2 Works for You looked at some of the school districts' changes on security measures this back-to-school season.

At Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS), they're starting the year with new strategies.

"All the entrances have a secure entrance. You can't just walk into the school site itself," explains Jeff Martin, a retired police sergeant who's now the head of campus security at BAPS, "You all go in through a secure area first."

All of the districts' campus entrances now have a second layer of security before visitors can get inside the school.

"We just changed the visitor management system, School Safe ID," says Martin.

Every visitor has to show an ID at the front office. Then, the system does a quick background check.

Other districts, such as Sand Springs and Union Public Schools, are using similar systems.

The goal is to keep sex offenders, those with a protective order or outstanding warrant out of school grounds.

"Everybody is more vigilant. They're seeing that things can happen, so to ensure that they don't, we again take a layered approach to things and make sure we have different things in place to ensure tha the students are as safe as possible," says Martin.

In Sand Springs, the high school has installed more than 60 surveillance cameras inside to monitor activity.

In Tulsa Public Schools, most of their buildings are starting the school year with a new type of entrance where to have to be buzzed in twice before entering the school.

"People have to be patient with us, so we really ask for them to understand that this is all in the interest of keeping children safe," says Dr. Deborah Gist, the superintendent at Tulsa Public Schools.

They're constantly looking at ways to improve safety she says.

The district has started a district-wide campaign called 'See, Hear, Share'. The district's website has a new phone number for students, parents or staff to call if they see something concerning: 918-480-SAFE (7233).

"If they ever hear something, even if they think it's a joke, they must tell someone because it's just so serious," says Dr. Gist.

Safety experts say the best way to avoid an incident is through prevention.

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