BRADFORD, Ohio (WDTN)- Empty chairs will soon be filled with students at Bradford Exempted Village Schools. Students returning from summer will be protected by several security upgrades over the district made over the summer.
“Ohio is one of the leading states for school violence so we wanted to make sure we were being pro-active,” Superintendent Joe Hurst said.
Improvements include adding film to windows at the school to slow down intruders trying to break in. Speakers are now installed outside the school so announcements can be heard by alll students, teachers and staff. Hurst also said new panic buttons strategically installed around the school can now dial directly to 911.
“The main parts that were here already were the buzz-in systems at each of the doors and keeping the doors locked during the day. We’ve taken that to another level,” Hurst said.
Technology is also being used to keep students safe. An app on Hurst’s cell phone allows him to lock down the school if necessary. The phone is connected to his desk phone and the school’s speaker system allowing him to make PA announcements from anywhere on campus.
“I don’t want to say it was a reaction(to school shootings around the country) but obviously there’s a heightened awareness for the safety of our students,” Hurst said.
This school year, teachers and staff have also been trained in defense and threat assessment.
Superintendent Hurst said he worked with local law enforcment and community members to come up with the new security plan.