By: Christine Souders
Davenport schools are beefing up security following the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting, and steps are being taken to make sure a tragedy like that, doesn't happen here.
Davenport School District Leaders are making security priority number one, and students could start seeing big changes in the next couple of months.
Davenport's Superintendent Arthur Tate said all 31 schools in the district are getting half a million dollars worth of upgraded security cameras, pa systems, and locks, "Anytime something like this happens you stand back and say, will we learn a lesson, what can happen in our schools, is there something that we want to change, and we've got security plans that fill a huge notebook."
Tate said also in the notebook is securing every school entrance.
"Any visitor coming in would have to go through the office 1st before they could peel out and go to classrooms and we have a few schools that need to do that work."
Paula Starnes' grandkids attend Madison Elementary, and she doesn't believe the changes are necessary, "It'd be like they are kind of in jail, on lock down, and I just feel like since my grandchildren have been here it seems pretty secure already, as far as I'm concerned."
But some parents we talked to said the changes are a must.
"The kids can't really protect themselves, so somebody's got to protect them," said Parent Rebecca Griesman.
"Any amount of emphasis to make sure we're doing the right things for security with the gives me more sense of safety for my kids," said Parent Chris Taylor.
Despite conflicting opinions, safety improvements to Davenport schools are already underway.
"It can happen anywhere, but will more security stop it? It's not a guarantee," said Starnes.
Tate said the money for the projects won't affect the schools' budget or your bottom line because it's coming out of a designated maintenance fund.
The Davenport School District is taking a hard look at security and what measures can be done to keep students safe.
The recent Sandy Hook School Massacre has Davenport School Leaders rethinking their own safety plan, that means more than 30 schools will get upgrades to security cameras, public address systems, and locks.
The district will also look at securing every school entrance, where visitors must enter the office before allowed access to classrooms.
School leaders said the changes had been in the districts' 10 year plan and will cost more than $500,000 dollars, but said its' money well spent and worth doing now.
"I mean that was the unthinkable, but it causes us to stop and think about those things, and so we're just changing our priorities a bit to make sure we put in an earlier effort in the things which provide security for our buildings," said Superintendent Arthur Tate.
The funding for the projects won't affect the budget, and are already underway.