Public hears few updates on physical security at BCSC

The public got few answers to questions about improving physical security at Bartholomew Consolidated Schools earlier this week.

The school board was briefed Monday about the process of planned upgrades. But that was at an executive session closed to the public. The public meeting revealed little about security plans ahead of the start of the school year in just a few weeks.

Dr. Jim Roberts said that the board and school district staff are still working through the details of school security improvements, before making those public.

Once the details are finalized, the district plans to release a video explaining the improvements to families and the community, Roberts said.

A common suggestion from the public at recent school board meetings has been installing metal detectors at school entrances. But Roberts said that those are not being considered at this time.

Roberts said the district is asking the state for the free metal detectors offered by Gov. Eric Holcomb’s new program. However there are no current plans to use them at the entrances to all the schools.

District staff are not in favor of the metal detectors and they were not endorsed by a consultant hired by the district. Roberts said that the number of people asking for metal detectors at school board meetings have been small and it is unclear if they are representative of the general public. He talked about the staff’s concerns

The entrance areas are one of the focuses of security upgrades, Roberts said. More possible is the idea of providing ID badges to all student and staff.

Roberts said that there is still time for one more executive session devoted to security concerns before school starts again for the fall. The date for that has yet to be announced.

At Monday’s school board meeting there was a public update on the Counseling Counts program, which will provide more school counselors trained in mental health to the schools in the district. Roberts said that the district views addressing those issues as a key component of school security.