Our big announcement with the name of the store will be coming soon.
Last week I asked you to send me your questions regarding the new campus. I immediately received several questions about security at the new building. Security is on our minds a lot due to the tragic shootings we have seen repeatedly across the country in the last few years. Although we have not talked much publicly about it, a lot of time and energy has been spent on safety and security in the new building. Here are some details about the security plan.
First, during the school day, every person entering the building will have to come through the main entrance. Once the school day starts, students and visitors will need to ring the doorbell at the main entrance and then be buzzed in to the vestibule. The second set of doors into the building will be locked, as will the door to the office. The student or visitor will then be buzzed into the office to sign in or receive identification. Once the person has been identified and/or signed in, the person will be directed out the other office door into the building. This system will prevent anyone from entering the building without first going through the office and being properly identified.
Second, any visitor who enters the building will first sign in at the office and will be required to wear a name badge distinguishing them as a visitor and their purpose in the building.
Third, we will have state-of-the-art security cameras that will monitor activity both inside and outside of the building.
Fourth, twice a year, the school practices lock down drills. We practice both hard and soft lockdown drills and will continue to practice to prepare for any emergency.
Fifth, the doors in the new school will be stronger with a much better locking system than we currently have. Our classroom doors will be able to lock from the inside to prevent any intruder from entering.
Finally, we will also have an interactive PA system similar to our existing campus so classrooms can easily communicate with the main office.
We are always looking at other ways to improve security. We are building relationships with local law enforcement to patrol and have a strong presence in our school community. The primary goal with all of this security is to slow down any intruder until local law enforcement arrives. With our cameras, two-door system, a prepared student body, better doors, and a strong local police presence, we are doing our best to provide a very safe place for our kids to go to school.
Although we will have this solid array of tools to keep our community safe, there is one other important thing I want to share, possibly the most important thing. A lot of violence and issues in schools occur because a kid or person has struggled to find a place or has had a rough life at home and school. They have been devalued in their home or school community and may be reacting because of that. High school is a tough time in a kid’s life. Our goal every day is to build the hearts and minds of our students. We want every student to feel loved. We try to prevent and stop bulling. We try to encourage, not discourage. We try to build their confidence, not tear it down. We try point them to the cross and to Jesus and not the world. We try to show them that they are valued. While we are not perfect at this, it is our goal and we try to partner with the community to do that.
I think of that topic a lot at this time of year when we are nearing Good Friday and Easter. Good Friday is the day that Jesus added value to us. It is the day we were made worthy, not because of what we have done, but because of Jesus Christ alone. As we think, pray, anticipate, and celebrate Good Friday and Easter, may we praise God for giving us value. But let’s not stop there. Let’s add value to the people around us. Let’s show our children that they are loved and valued. That is my prayer for every student who will walk in that building. We will never be able to stop all of the pain, struggles, and violence, but we can take giant steps if we as a community make every kid know they are loved not only by us, but by Jesus Christ.