New security measures added to Benton schools

BENTON, Ark.(KTHV) - Over the summer, the Benton School District made modifications to ensure that all of its buildings keep unwanted visitors out.

Benton School District Superintendent Jeff Collum said students and parents will notice a new look to the entrances of Benton schools as they head back to class next week.

"One of the things you'll see and that parents will see when they come to school on Monday are what we're calling two-tier safety entrances."

Collum said visitors won't be allowed into the building without passing through a holding area and presenting their ID.

The new security measures have been added to all of Benton's elementary schools, middle school and junior high. The high school was already equipped with the upgrades.

Elementary school Principal Stacy Shellnut says the changes will make the school day go smoother.

"We're just simply able to monitor and better control who has access to our students."

Superintendent Collum said schools have to look at security differently because of shootings and intruder incidents across the country.

"They'll have to come in and check-in at the visitors desk. They will have to present identification here then get a pass to go on to where they're needing to go on campus. Here's the major change. What thing they can't do is go pass this door until they are buzzed in."

In addition to upgrading the entrances, the school district also has 4 school resource officers to help add a an extra layer of protection.

Benton School Resource Officer Lieutenant Lisa Stuart says the upgrades make schools more secure, but they will not have a false sense of security.

"We're still going to be on a high sense of alertness as we always were, but it does have calming effect knowing that we do have that extra barrier in place."

The security upgrades come with a price tag of $300,000.


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