Local Schools Consider Changes To Security Measures

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Just months after a shooting rampage killed dozens at a Conneticut elementary school, some Southeast Ohio schools are considering changes to their school security policies and procedures.

At Meigs High School, students and staff alike are questioning the effectiveness of current safety measures implemented at their school. 

"We don't have police or body guards out in front of our school, but we have security cameras, and I wonder could if we get the police here in time for them to stop something bad from happening," said Rachel Payne, a senior at the school.

It's questions like Payne's that have Meigs High School principal Steve Ohlinger ready for a change.

"One thing that we are looking at doing is placing an armed deputy at the front entrance. Then anybody that comes and goes will report to that person," said Ohlinger. 

He said he believes this solution will address some of the gaps in the school's current security procedures.

"One [gap] is how do we get kids from the high school to their bus?  How do we get kids from the high school to the student parking lot to their cars?" Ohlinger said.

Amy Perrin, an Meigs High School English teacher and a mother of two, said she sees this issue from the eyes of a parent. 

"When I do think about the possibility of the unthinkable happening here at Meigs High School, my first thought is where are my daughters? That thought terrifies me," she said. "There's definitely the sentiment of 'Oh, this could never happen here. We know everyone.'"

Ohlinger said he worries that the school's current safety procedures would make it easy for an unauthorized person, including school alumni, to open the building doors and walk into a classroom with almost no push back. 

"Those are some of the practices that have to change," he said. "Will it make the [high school alumni] of the world have to go through an extra step to gain access? Yes, it will."

Meigs High School isn't the only Southeast Ohio school considering changes to their security measures.

The Nelsonville-York Schools District is also considering hiring an armed resource officer to join their staff.