Ponca City schools update security measures

Ponca City Now - August 12, 2014 9:12 am

As the kids head back to school, administration is making sure they feel safe sitting in their desks. School Board Superintendent, Dr. David Pennington said the high school’s security is getting a facelift.

“What will be different this year is that when they [visitors] walk into the high school they will go through kind of like a security check point, and there will be a security guard and that person will check them into the building,” Pennington said. “They’ll actually show their driver’s license, that person will issue a visitor’s badge and then when they come out of the building they’ll get their drivers license back.”

Visitors have not had to provide their ID previously, but this is only a temporary solution. The district is waiting on a device called a LobbyGuard. Visitors will go into the LobbyGuard space where there will be a self- service scanner for them to scan their license. Then a visitors pass will print. On top of this they’re also working on moving all offices to the front of the schools.

Pennington said he is trying to balance having a safe space while maintaining a public building. He said the key is people can’t just walk into the building without interacting with a staff member.

“ I guess the safest thing you could do is build a wall around your schools and people go through security checkpoints, like you do going out to the Phillips refinery,” Pennington said. “I don’t think we’re going to do that, I don’t think that’s the way people want their public schools to operate. So again, we’re trying to provide some increased security, we’re trying to screen people who should not be in the buildings from getting into the buildings and trying to do that in away that is as minimally invasive as possible, and trying to keep our schools aesthetically pleasing and they’re comfortable spaces where people want to come in and learn.”

The district started concentrating on security updates four years ago.


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