Johnston County spending $1.8M to add new layer of security to all schools

Johnston County News

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Norcalith Munic’s daughter is a second-grader at River Dell Elementary and knowing that her child is safe is always at the top of her mind.

“It’s very important. It’s very important that our students feel safe and also the teachers and other staff,” Munic said.

To do that the Johnston County School System is adding another layer of protection to all of its 42 schools. After the front door, another wall and set of locked doors with shatterproof glass now prevents anyone from going any further.

That can only happen after the front office clears a person through.

“Teachers teach better when they feel safe — learners learn when they feel safe, so we want to provide another added layer so that teaching and learning can transpire in the classroom,” auxiliary services and safety officer Chase Ferrell said.  

There’s also buzzer with a camera.

The $1.8 million project is being paid for with a 2018 voter-approved bond.

Administrators say the conversation went into high gear after the Parkland school shooting in Florida.  

“We’re really able to have serious conversations where everybody is thinking about what can we do next, what are the additional steps.  So it does give you a sense of security but it’s not a conversation that you can ever stop or ever complete,” said Dolores Gill with Johnston County Schools.

The new wall and doors are just one piece of a layered school safety plan.

“That is what we want parents, students staff to understand that it is an expectation that we have school safety on the front burner and that it’s not just something that crops up every now and again when there is a crisis or a school shooting but that we put on the forefront at all times,” added Ferrell.

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