New Security Systems Installed In All Fentress County Schools

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Left to right: Bobby Smith, York Elementary School Head Custodian; Steven Smith, York Elementary School Vice-Principal; Fentress County School System Maintenance Supervisor Robert Cooper, and Fentress County Director of Schools Mike Jones are shown in front of a newly-installed set of doors which restrict entrance to the inner portion of York Elementary School, directing visitors into the office.

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York Elementary Vice-Principal Steven Smith (left) and Fentress County School System Maintenance Supervisor Robert Cooper (right), pose beside the new camera/microphone at the entrance to York Elementary School and a sign giving directions for entry into the school building.

In a continued effort to ensure the safety of all our school children, the Fentress County Board of Education has installed additional security measures at all the elementary schools and Clarkrange High School.
Director of Schools Mike Jones announced last week that the new security equipment has been installed and is operational in all the schools, and gave Courier Editor Bill Bowden a walk-through of the new system at York Elementary School.
“Basically, what we have is that all the doors are locked at 8:00 a.m.,” Jones said.  “And everyone has to go through a specified entrance to access any of the schools.
“When a visitor comes to the main door, there will be a camera and microphone, where they must state their name and nature of business.  A person in the office then may release the door, allowing the visitor to come into the school, but they will only have access to the office at that point, and must produce a photo ID and go through a background check before being issued a visitor pass and allowed to proceed further into the school.
“At 8:00 a.m., all other access doors to the school are locked, as well as the door to all the classrooms.  Employees of the school will be issued an electronic fob which allows them access, but everyone else must go through the security system.” Jones added.
“The days of the doors being propped open are over,” Jones emphasized.
He also pointed out that there are other security measures which have been implemented to ensure the safety of the students and staff.  He also noted that law enforcement personnel make random walk-through checks of the schools during the day.
“Another thing that we’re concentrating on which started last year is a program to eliminate bullying,” he added.  “We have anti-bullying posters displayed in each school.  If any one feels threatened or if they have been bullied, we have a designated phone line which is checked daily and reported to me.  I then go to he principal of the school, who investigates and then I go to the school to make sure that procedures are carried out.”
Director Jones noted that at Clarkrange High School, a new entrance had been made, directing visitors directly into the office.
Director Jones also stated that prior to the 8:00 a.m. lockdown of the schools, that they had adult personnel at all entrance doors to monitor who comes in before school and makes sure that they exit the building by 8:00 a.m.