BOUNTIFUL — One of Davis School District’s oldest elementary schools started the year with a new measure of security on Tuesday.
Though the changes may seem small to children who will walk through school doors like they always have each morning, they are changes that can make parents feel a little bit better about their children’s safety once there.
“I applaud you,” said Police Chief Tom Ross to the parents and school leaders who oversaw what he called “tremendous” improvements.
In his 26 years of police work, he said he sees the attitude “it won’t happen to me” too often.
“You’re no longer saying it won’t happen to us, you’re saying we’re going to prevent it from happening to us,” he said.
Last year’s PTA president, Brenda Raccuia, had the idea for the security improvements and worked with local businesses and the school community to raise $10,500 for the project.
“I was tired of hearing the stories in the news of random shootings and abductions,” said Raccuia. “This makes it a better, safer environment for kids.”
The PTA held a walk-a-thon and donations were received from Dick’s Market, Mountain West Surgical Center and Lakeview Hospital.
As in many of the older schools in the district, students have always passed through two set of doors when entering the school.
In the past, there was only a window to the front office between the sets of doors and once inside the school, a sign greeted visitors to check in at the office, where they had to get the attention of a secretary whose back was usually turned so she could work at her computer.
With the remodel, locks have been placed on the second set of doors and a door replaced the window to the office.
Visitors can now enter the first set of doors but then must go through the office, check in at the redesigned counter with secretaries facing traffic, and then enter the school.
Both sets of front doors will be open when children arrive in the mornings and teachers will each have passes to open the exterior doors when they are locked.
The design is similar to those in place in newer schools.
“I feel like it was manna from heaven to have that partnership with the PTA,” said Debbie Marshall, principal.
“It shows the power of parents when they put their minds to making sure schools are safe for their children,” she said.