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Increased Security in New Baltimore, Chesterfield Schools May be New Normal

Heightened security measures implemented by L'Anse Creuse, Anchor Bay and New Haven districts following the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting are expected to remain in place through early 2013.

Three weeks, including a holiday break, have passed in New Baltimore and Chesterfield schools since the , but security remains at an all-time high in all local districts.

Like countless districts across the state and country, L'Anse Creuse, New Haven and Anchor Bay schools heightened their security in the days following the shooting.

In L'Anse Creuse Public Schools, the majority of those measures are due to remain in place until further notice.

A full list of safety measures is available on the district website, but key policies include: 

  • All exterior doors are locked, except for the front entrance into the school office area. In the elementary and middle schools, as well as the Pankow Center, this requires visitors to enter through a secure entrance, while the high schools are staffed with personnel at the main entrance throughout the school day.
  • All outside visitors are required to sign in at the office prior to entry into the main building.

Prior to the holiday break, L'Anse Creuse ordered all main entrances at elementary and junior high schools to be locked during the school day as well as interior classroom doors while class was in session.

However post-break, the district said one main door at each school, and interior classroom doors, will remain unlocked.

"Classroom doors are unlocked during school hours and everyone is much more relaxed," said James Coller, L'Anse Creuse North senior. "With all of the classroom doors being locked, classrooms were being interrupted frequently and it was more of a distraction. With all of the other security measures in place, I still feel perfectly safe at school."

New Haven Community Schools also plans to continue its enhanced security, including locking all main doors and installing buzzer systems to alert office staff to the presence of visitors at the main doors. The installation is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

In addition to checking the photo ID of visitors and locking exterior doors, Anchor Bay administrators have also called on local law enforcement to provide a non-threatening police presence throughout the school day.

With school back in session, New Baltimore Police Chief Tim Wiley said his department will "continue to provide an appropriate, peace of mind, type law enforcement presence in the New Baltimore schools until the end of the school year."

What security measures should districts implement on a permanent basis?

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