How local schools keep students safe

Local school districts said they are constantly looking at and updating their security plans.

BOISE - In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people, schools across the nation are beefing up security. That includes schools in the Treasure Valley.

Local school districts said they are constantly looking at and updating their security plans.

“It's a never-ending conversation,” said Eric Exline, spokesman for the West Ada School District.

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Right now, the West Ada School District is working on implementing new ways to regulate visitor access to schools, Exline said.

“It actually began with two of our newest schools which have systems that require visitors to buzz into the school,” he said.

They're considering doing this at all the schools in West Ada. How they do that varies by school. Some entrances may need cameras so the visitor is visible to school staff.

“The high schools will be the hardest,” Exline said. “They have the most entrances. The kids tend to go in and out the most, so we have looked at a system where the students would actually have a badge that would scan them into the building.”

The West Ada School District is also working to standardize how visitors check-in to a school. It's a system they're piloting at about five schools right now. In the front office visitors scan their driver's license and the system runs a quick background check against the sex offender registry. If everything is good it prints out a visitor’s sticker.

“It is tapping into a database. It's giving us information saying, ‘yeah it's okay for you to come into our school,’” Exline said.

Over at the Boise School District officials are working on expanding their security budget. The district wants to be able to have funds ready if they need more physical security or if it's providing training programs.

“In light of the environment which we're in in the nation right now that's certainly something we want to be able to do,” district spokesman Dan Hollar said. “It's not just based on what happened in Florida. This has been an ongoing process for us believing and understanding that safety is job one.”

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