District 205 to Add 1,700 Locks to Rockford Classrooms

By: Jessica Geraci Email
By: Jessica Geraci Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Students in District 205 are getting an added layer of protection when they're at school.

School security is on the minds of many Rockford parents; whether they have a first grader or a freshman, parents say they wonder if their child is safe while in class.

“If he was at school and something happened to him, I would have no way to bury him so I had to put life insurance on him. You shouldn't have to think about things like that,” says Robin Hendron, mother to a sophomore at Auburn High School.

While that’s a scary thought, more parents are unfortunately worrying about that in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. District 205 is trying to give local parents some piece of mind.by putting more locks on classroom doors, 1,700 of them district-wide. Bids for the work will go out in a week and they should be installed this year. It’ll cost the district around a million dollars.

"I hope for more security and that our kids are safe. This should be a safe haven for them and whatever their measures are to up security, I'm all for it," says Sue Fontanez, who just moved to the Rockford area and has a son enrolled at Auburn.

The National Rifle Association recently released a 200 page report suggesting each school have at least one armed staff member. The National Federation of Teachers is strongly opposed to this proposal, however local parents have been thinking along the same lines.

"For the little kids I think they should to something, like hire ex-military, whatever they need to do to keep my kids safe," says Dawn Dyar, mother of three District 205 students.

Each Rockford high school has a police officer. Officers are also assigned to some middle schools. That's in addition to private security guards stationed at every school. They man the front desk, patrol school parking lots, and help police when necessary. The district has plenty of other security measures they don't talk about so they don't give away all their secrets.

There is a way for students, or anyone in the community to report a threat to a student or teacher anonymously. There's a link on District 205's website, the program is called Report It.

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