JTHS Takes Steps to Make Schools Safer
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings, the school district is looking at how to make schools safer now and in the long term.
After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, schools across the country took a look at the security plans in place and sought to tweak them as needed to keep students safe. At Joliet Township High School District 204, each of the three schools in the district - Joliet West High School, Joliet Central High School and the alternative high school campus - have armed Joliet Police officers in the building during the school day. But the campus of Joliet Central High School gives administrators a unique challenge. The doors of the school are solid wood.
"As a security guard at West, I can see you," JTHS superintendent Cheryl McCarthy said. "If I am not comfortable buzzing you in, I would not buzz you in."
This is not the case at Central campus. So, to increase the safety at the school, they have utilized the portable metal detectors so that all visitors must pass through them when entering campus.
The topic came up at the regular board of education meeting when board member Earl Peterson said he would like to look at ways to make the schools in the district more secure.
"It's my understanding that we have had a police officer armed in (all three) schools for years," Peterson said. "All of those (school) shootings, there was only one gun there.
"Had they had more than one gun, perhaps they would have chosen a new location."
McCarthy told Peterson the school would continue to work closely with the Joliet Police Department.
"School safety is something we look at continually," she said. "We will continue to work with them and learn from events."
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