Lakota Schools implement new safety measure in classrooms

Lakota Schools implement new safety measure in classrooms
Lakota Local Schools say they’ve implemented a new security measure throughout the classrooms in their district. (Source: WAFF)

LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (FOX19) - Lakota Local Schools say they’ve implemented a new security measure throughout the classrooms in their district.

Over the summer, district officials say 1,200 Bearacade Door Control Systems were installed.

According to the website, the company is Ohio-based and their ‘Lockdown Response System’ is a door-stopping device that you install into the floor.

“The safety of our students and staff is always our number one priority,” Superintendent Matthew Miller said. “Our plans are never complete. We are always working with our law enforcement partners to evaluate all of our safety measures in order to improve.”

The Bearacade website says the device can withstand 4,800 pounds of external force, which they say is 10 times the strength of a traditional lock set.

The district says if a building activates a lockdown, the device will be rapidly deployed by staff and will prevent an intruder from entering a room.

“The Bearacade® system is a time saver for our staff, should they ever be put in a dangerous situation,” said Miller. “The device deploys in three-to-eight seconds, securing the room quickly.” Local law enforcement and fire departments have been supportive of this additional safety measure.

They say this addition comes a year after their district hired eight new school resource officers, bringing its total to 18 — one at each campus.

It’s also in addition to their new visitor management system called Raptor which requires visitors to provide an official ID to be allowed access to areas outside the main office, officials say. IDs such as driver’s licenses, state IDs or passports will be scanned or manually entered into the Raptor system, they say. The system will check the ID against the national registered sexual offender list to ensure offenders aren’t entering school property, officials say.

Lakota Local Schools also announced a partnership with MindPeace, which they say will connect the non-profit network of professional mental health providers with the district’s schools to increase student access to quality, affordable mental healthcare.

This puts therapists available to help at 15 of Lakota’s 23 schools with the expectation of being in every building by May.

“The safety and well-being of our students is a top priority,” Lakota’s Manager of Health Care Services Lauren Brown said. “And strong mental health plays a vital role in a student’s growth and success. A student who is struggling with stress, anxiety or other concerns cannot focus on school work.”

They say more than 200 students met with counselors last year.

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