Cobb school district increases security

by: John Bachman Updated:

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A local school district is locking doors and clamping down on who gets through the front doors.

Channel 2's John Bachman got a look at the new level of security going into 66 Cobb County elementary schools, and talked with parents learning the new system.

"Before we could just walk in, and yes, we're supposed to go into the office, but what if people don't? It gives them a better idea of who's coming and going," said parent Saralee Parker.

At Nickajack Elementary School in Smyrna, Parker is one of several parents getting used to the new system. The district is installing them in all 66 elementary schools. Nickajack activated its system Monday.

"It's very important. You just want random people walking through this building? It's very important we know who is in and out of the building," Parker said.

Bachman got a look at it how the new system works. The front doors are locked and visitors have to buzz the front office. A staffer then has to let visitors into the building.

"With all the school tragedies we've had recently, this is an extra line of defense to keep that from "happening," said parent Lana Wilson.

"After the Newtown incident, we did hear a lot of feedback from the community about the security on our campuses, particularly the entrances to our buildings," said Jay Dillon, Cobb County Schools director of communications.

The district launched the buzz-in system after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings in December. It's a system similar to what Sandy Hook had and the shooter shot out windows to get in. District leaders know they can't prevent everything, but they said they will try.

"We're going to take every step we can within reason, to protect our students, that's our highest priority," Dillon said.

Even before the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, the Cobb County district was putting eight security cameras in all elementary schools. Recently voters passed another special local option sales tax. Some of that money will pay for more cameras in schools.



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