Jackson schools beef up security

South Elementary is just one of the schools in Jackson that's added a security feature.
South Elementary is just one of the schools in Jackson that's added a security feature.

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - You might have seen them if you've been to a school in Jackson recently: cameras and buttons near the door.

It's all part of the new controlled access entry system the district installed in all the public schools from elementary to junior high.

"It just makes me feel safe as a parent knowing that the kids are safe," said parent Sara Flaherty.

A certain level of comfort for parents comes with the touch of a button.

"I think it's great, I think it puts parents at ease, helps us feel safer that they're monitoring who's coming in and out of the buildings," said parent Jamie Kiefer.

South Elementary is just one of the schools in Jackson that's added the security feature.

"Safety, safety is the number one priority for the district, nothing more important than keeping our kids safe, so that's our motivation," said Wade Bartels with the Jackson Public School District.

The school doors lock once the lessons start. School visitors press a button that alerts a school employee inside. The employee can then see the visitor through a camera and decide whether or not to allow them access to the building.

Sara Smith is a parent with kids at South Elementary and said the addition is a good move.

"I absolutely think it's a great idea, it makes me feel safe that my children are safe in the school system," said Smith.

"I think that's great, you buzz in, it only takes them a couple minutes to check and see who it is, and it's no inconvenience at all," said Kiefer.

"I'm glad to hear they're doing it, I appreciate it," said grandparent Cecil Franklin.

"Everything has been extremely positive, the parents are ecstatic about it, it's something I think is a great positive for our community and our kids, and for everybody," said Bartels.

Bartels said the price tag for the project is about $30,000. He said it's a project they've had in place for awhile.

"Everything is a layer with safety, and this is just one more layer we can have in the process to keep our kids safe, so teachers and staff and everyone is thrilled about it," said Bartels.

But with restricted access, it will also be more difficult for parents to get in the school after the school day starts.

"I would rather have the safety," said Kiefer.

"I would greatly go that extra mile to ensure that I know the proper person is going to pick up my child from school, and that strangers can't just go straight walking in the door, and go busting in on a classroom, so I think it's a great idea," said Smith.

An idea, that is now a reality.

"It was pretty secure, but I'm glad to hear it's better than what it was," said Franklin.

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