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Jones County School District pushes forward with new security measures

Jones Co. School District pushes forward with new security measures
Published: Aug. 3, 2018 at 11:14 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2018 at 11:25 AM CDT
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JONES COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Jones County School District will be installing a new security system in the elementary schools this fall. Superintendent Tommy Parker says the nearly $170,000 system could be an inconvenience to parents at first. But, he believes the changes are necessary.

"It might be a little inconvenient for some of our parents and grandparents and visitors, but we certainly feel like it will offer another level of protection for our elementary students," Parker said.

According to Parker, the purpose of the system is to limit access into the schools. Right now, all schools are accessible to anyone. However, Parker says that will no longer be the case.

"You would be identified at the front door and you would hold your ID up to the video, so they (school officials) can see you are who you say you are" says Parker. "Then, you would be buzzed into the building. Once you're inside the building, you would have to have your driver's license scanned to print you a visitor's card and to have record of what time you were at the school."

He says the device will also run a background check. He adds that for the moment they will only be checking the sex offender registry before expanding to other avenues. Additionally, employees will also have to go through the system for entry.

"Our employees will enter the school using their ID badge and it will time stamp and record every time the employees come in and out," said Parker.

The system will also can place the school on lock down, if necessary. Parker believes the need for the security system comes after recent school shootings across the country. He insisted that the security measures are just the beginning to showing the community their commitment to protecting their children.

"So, we just think it's a real good step in the right direction especially for our elementary schools and we're moving forward with the project," said Parker. "We're excited about it being completed."

In the future, they plan on adding a similar system to the middle and high schools. The district expects the new security measure to be installed by September.

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