Whitehall Central School creates strategies for student safety

WHITEHALL, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In the wake of the Florida high school shooting, parents more than ever are scared to send their kids to school.

One school district upping their security to make sure a tragedy like that never occurs there.

It’s a question parents are faced with every day. Will make child be safe at school?

The administration at Whitehall Central School District is doing their part to make sure they will be.

It’s a harsh reality of the times we live in.

“Can we ever say that we are 100 percent secure? Sadly, no,” said Patrick Dee, superintendent.

But in the days following the shooting in Florida, Whitehall Superintendent Patrick Dee has doubled down on his stance.

“Safety is our first priority,” Dee said.

Then just days after the Florida tragedy, another potential high school shooter was caught before he can go through with his plan in Fair Haven, Vermont; just up the road from Whitehall.

“That’s awfully close to home,” said Jeff Keller, principal of Whitehall Junior-Senior High School.

Now, for the first time, he let NEWS10 ABC cameras into the school, to explain exactly what they are doing to protect students and faculty.

“Parents trust us with their kids,” Keller said.

Plywood has been added to classroom windows, designed by students to block the view and slow down a potential intruder.

Around the hallways, there are numerous cameras.

“We can actually log on to any computer and watch them along with the Superintendent and I have the ability to watch them on our phones,” Keller said.

Even the front entrance has changed.

“We took down the wall that was here and put in this security window,” Keller said. “We can clearly see whoever comes in.”

In the cafeteria, film has been added to the windows.

“Well it isn’t bullet proof, it wouldn’t shatter and injure our students in the event of that,” Keller said.

If that worst happens, it could save lives.

“If we are not enhancing our safety in school districts, we are failing our students and we are failing our communities,” Dee said.

In addition, when school hours are over, there is only one doorway that you can use to enter the building, and that requires a swiping a key card to unlock it.

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