Schools Taking More Precautions On Securing Buildings

We first reported schools in the Papillion-LaVista district locking their front doors during the school day one month ago.

Now, schools in the district are taking taking building security to another level.

As secretary at Hickory Hill Elementary School in the Papillion-LaVista district, Nancy Kunkle has a lot of duties.

“From making newsletters to running lunches up to children, anything that needs to be done,” she said.

Naturally, she has to be good at multi-tasking.

“Several interruptions especially during lunch time, we have a lot of parents that come in.”

And that's when Nancy Kunkle springs into action.

She is in line of sight of the front door and since the school started locking the front door last month, she or another office worker makes the trek to the door to let people in.

Thirty-three steps in way.

Kunkle's not complaining about the duty, she says it's good exercise. But the job could be made easier for everyone.

That's why the school is looking for volunteers to help out but taking a chair a few hours a day to let people in and direct them to the office.

“It just makes it a little easier during the day,” Kunkle said. “Before when the doors were not locked, some times I would get called away to the health office to help out there things like that and so if I'm called away from the desk there's no body watching the front door.”

“One of the biggest concerns we got from parents and staff both was that parents could just walk right into the building. and we always requested you check into the office but did everybody?” Annette Eyeman of Papillion/LaVista Schools said. “So the goal was to control access to the school by locking the front door so we know exactly who comes into the building.”

A door bell was also added.

Schools are now designing in-access flows. Instead of having the office up a stairwell or a down a hallway from the front door, they are building them so the front door can be locked and an access door goes into a little hallway directly into the office.

So, for now, Nancy Kunkle will take those 33 steps, in heels, to let someone in and keep the kids here safe.

Each of the school principals in the Papillion-LaVista district had some leeway on determining how visitors to their buildings would be closely monitored.

District High Schools all have security at the front door.

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