Keeping students safe from people coming into schools

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
(News 12 at 6 O’Clock / NBC 26 News at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – It wouldn’t take long for someone to walk through the front door of a school, which is why Richmond County and Columbia County Schools use a buzzer system.

"We have the locks, the buzzer doors on our schools so you have to be buzzed in, there’s a few of them though that you can walk in the front doors but then you have to get buzzed in to get to the part of the school where the students are located,” said Columbia County Assistant Superintendent Penny Jackson.

Evans High School has the indoor buzzer system, which separates students from the visitors while Greenbrier High School has the outside buzzer system.

“I think it's critical, it's the first line of defense of somebody just being able to walk in to the school without any hesitation,(26) it gives us a chance to look at the situation make sure the person trying to come into the school isn't carrying anything that is suspect,” said Greenbrier High School Principal Chris Seagraves.

The accused Florida high school shooter Nikolas Cruz is a former student who found a way to make it through school doors. In Richmond and Columbia Counties, visitors have to check-in, even graduates before entering the school.

"Once they become graduates they can't just go in and visit, they have to have a set purpose and the teacher needs to know that they're coming back to visit them and by and large they end up trying to meet with them in the front office area or they have to be escorted down to who they're visiting,” said Jackson.

Richmond and Columbia Counties also have armed officers at some middle schools and every high school.

"They're there to protect the school, and protect students and if they have any concerns, if any students have concerns they can go to the SRO at any time they're really approachable they really believe in community policing and they really try to make sure students have what they need,” said Kaden Jacobs with Richmond County School System.

What they need to focus on studying, and not worry about safety.