Big Walnut Schools Continue to Focus on Improving School Security

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Gone are the days that visitors can just open a door and walk into a Big Walnut school building. Visitors now have to check in through a video intercom system.

“You always have to be on your guard and ready to go,” said Chris Wolfe, Administrative Assistant.

Wolfe has been at Hylen Souders Elementary for the last 14 years.

In addition to her administrative duties, last month she was given the additional task of standing watch over those coming and going.

“It's nice to know people can't slip into the building without us being aware,” said Wolfe.

Assistant Superintendent Gary Barber said district leaders met a few months ago to review and update the district's crisis plan.

“We worked in conjunction with the Delaware county sheriff's office and had (school resource officers) from across Delaware come in and do a safety audit, and give us recommendations,” said Barber.

National safety expert Michael Dorn also visited the district earlier this year to talk with staff about increasing security measures.

Barber said because of those conversations the district is working with architects to possibly redesign building entrance ways.

Trees that blocked views of the building's parking lots have also been removed or trimmed. The district is also considering methods to train students against active shooters.

The district also recently implemented a safe school hotline - where students, parents and community members can to report anonymous tips about everything from bullying to crime.

Big Walnut is one of several central Ohio school districts working to improve security for students.

You can read more about what other districts are doing in This Week Community News.