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Whitmore-Bolles Parents Raise Funds to Purchase Security System for School

The new system includes security cameras and a buzzer system for guests to enter the school.

Whitmore-Bolles Elementary School in Dearborn has installed a new security system.
Whitmore-Bolles Elementary School in Dearborn has installed a new security system.
Starting this fall, students and parents at Whitmore-Bolles Elementary School in Dearborn will have to follow a new protocol now that the school has installed a security system.

"Our school is piloting  a buzzer system with the capability of a swipe system for staff only," principal Kristin Waddell said. "Visitors will need to press a 'call' button and be buzzed into the building by a person inside the building."

In addition to the buzzer locks, the system is connected to an intercom at the building's main entrance and the delivery entrance in the back of the building that allows office staff to see, speak to and hear visitors.

"All other doors will remain locked throughout the day per district policy. There is a camera at each of the two doors that will assist us in monitoring who is calling and requiring access into the building," Waddell said.

The system is operable and currently ready to start for the first day of school on Sept. 3.

Waddell said that Whitmore-Bolles is the first school in the district to implement new security measures. The system was purchased through a parent-organized bowling fundraiser on May 18.

Parent Regan Ford, who has a son at the school, helped spearhead the fundraiser and garner interest among local businesses.

"He wanted to get involved at his son's school and raise money for something big for our school. Agreeing to this but not knowing exactly what to raise money for at first we began talking. Then after Sandy Hook, both of us new immediately what are goal was and 'The Whitmore Bowls for Safety' event planning began," Waddell said.

"Together with a committee of tenacious parents, we raised more than $11,000 to see this happen!" she said.

Ford said he's excited to see the new system in play during a special back-to-school event on Sept. 3.

"As a parent, the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School really weighed on my mind," he said. "If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere."

Ford said about 220 bowlers participated in the fundraiser.

"This was about parents and the community stepping up and working together to help keep children safe," he said.

Waddell said while the new system may not prevent a tragedy from occurring in the future, it gives staff and families more peace of mind.

"Prior to installing the security system, we left only the front door unlocked during the school day. With the location of the main office not being that close to the main door, however, any person could have gained access to our school and children without being noticed by office personnel," she explained. 

"With the new security system, office personnel will know exactly who is entering the building and for what reason they are entering. Granted this or any security system will not completely prevent another situation like the tragedy at Sandy Hook, it may deter a similar situation or at least give us more time and ultimately save the lives of precious children and staff."

A back-to-school resource fair for parents and families is scheduled for 8:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Sept. 3.
Donna Hay August 26, 2013 at 11:51 AM
I'll say the same thing I said on FaceBook. Thanks to the parents at Whitmore who are looking after the welfare of their children but why can the school board get money for million dollar football fields and not for the safety of the students?

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