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Examiner
  • Fort Osage getting used to heightened security

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  • Despite taking a few more minutes to enter school buildings in the Fort Osage School District, parents and community members seem to appreciate the new security measures.
    “Families have been very appreciative and have not minded that it takes just a little loner to get into our buildings,” said Stephanie Smith, director of public relations for Fort Osage. “Many of our parents have read the information and come to the cameras prepared to buzz in with their ID.”
    The Fort Osage Board of Education discussed the security updates Tuesday.
    When visitors come to a district facility, they will see a “buzz in system.” This requires visitors to be admitted by someone in the front office. The visitor will push a button that will ring in the front office. The exterior doors will be locked. Then the visitor shows identification such as a driver’s license. They then state their purpose for entering the school. Once buzzed in, they go to the front office before accessing any other area of the school.
    Smith said the security system is, for the most part, operating effectively. She said there have been some issues with outside community groups who use school facilities such as sports teams or Girl Scouts. Although they have had complete access to the building in the past, that is not the case any longer. She said now, it is all about relaying the district’s policies and procedures to them.
    “People can’t just roam the building any longer,” Smith said. “Now we are all about sharing our policies and practices with our patrons, so they know how things have changed.”
    Smith said there have been a few minor issues with the new security system, mostly dealing with handicap accessibility. She said those have not been working as smoothly as initially thought, so adjustments are being made.
    “Parents have said that they feel safer about their kids being in school because of the safety and security upgrades,” she said. “People do understand, and most have been very happy with the changes.”
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