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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Most local schools did a self-examination in the aftermath of the shooting massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Now new dollars are bringing security changes to New Albany.
Parents and guests must receive clearance to greet their children at Scribner Middle School in New Albany. It seems history added a lesson at that and so many other schools.
From the moment you walk into Scribner, you are being watched, whether it's on a mirror, on surveillance video, or by the person at the welcome center -- and before you can get into the hallway your ID is checked.
Bill Wiseheart, Director of Facilities for the NAFC School Corp., explains, "We actually do criminal history check and badging at a station before they enter the facility."
Doors stay locked, signs warn outsiders that cameras are rolling, and even the letter carrier gets buzzed in. But not all campuses in the New Albany Floyd County School Corporation are this secure yet.
Jerry Finn of the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County says it "...committed $150,000 for the school safety program." The money will bolster security systems at six elementary campuses.
Wisehart says, "This will give us a chance to standardize our system throughout the school corporation, standardize the badging, and allow us to have the current technology that we'd like to see throughout all schools."
Security improvements were already in the works. Scribner's update was completed this summer. But after 20 children were gunned down at Sandy Hook last December, the school system found itself vulnerable and sped up the work.
Finn says, "The first thing that comes to your mind is just disbelief that somebody would be able to do something like that to innocent children." He found the grant both personal and professional, because he has, "Children in schools, grandchildren, and a wife that works in an elementary school as well." He adds, "There's nothing more important than our children. When we send our kids off to school, we want them to learn and succeed in life but gosh, we want them to be safe."
Greater Clark County Schools made similar security upgrades during the winter break.