Steve Denoy: School security lacking

December 28, 2013 

Your Dec. 14 news article “Triangle schools look to boost safety” might have been better headlined “Your children are not as safe as you might think.”

During two recent visits to my children’s elementary school, I was able to walk through an unlocked door, through a vestibule and down the corridor to the cafeteria without coming into contact with an adult. This made me concerned enough that I spoke with several people: the school principal; Russ Smith, the Wake County director of security; Susan Evans, District 8 Wake County school board member; and an N&O reporter. Here’s what I learned:

• Yes, $7.5 million was set aside early this year for school districts to hire resource officers, and, at least in my children’s school, no resource officers have been hired.

• Funding for things such as key-card entry systems, alarms, door buzzers, panic buttons etc., will be available to upgrade security systems but probably at the earliest summer 2014. Installations will be completed through 2015.

Recently another school shooting occurred in Arapahoe, Colo. My question is, What is the transition plan to keep our children safe until the schools can be official fitted with security features? When will all schools have security equipment installed? Can the PTA raise funds for a security system and later be reimbursed by the county? What is the policy (and is it being enforced) for locking school doors? Can schools use parent volunteers as “greeters” to monitor entry into the schools?

We don’t want to find ourselves in the shoes of a Sandy Hook parent. The harsh reality is it can happen in our schools. We all want our children to be safe and secure at our schools. It is our duty as parents to ensure security happens today.

Steve Denoy

Holly Springs

The writer was quoted in the Dec. 14 news article “Triangle schools look to boost safety.” The length limit was waived for a fuller response to the story.

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