Locking down safety

Krystle Wagner • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:06 PM

The startling stillness filled the halls as Principal Mike Shelton, Assistant Principal Robert Coyne and local law enforcement officials patrolled the building during the building’s announced lockdown drill.

While such drills are a common security practice for local schools, last month's tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., prompted school officials to examine their own measures.

Scott Grimes, assistant superintendent for human services for the Grand Haven district, said the tragedy made them stop and ask, “What if?”

Although Grand Haven school buildings had security measures in place, Grimes said they asked the principals for input on ways to improve them.

“We consistently work on security measures,” he said.

Once the principals reviewed their buildings, Grimes said they worked during the recent holiday break to ensure that all locks and classroom speakers correctly work.

The district also collaborates with local law enforcement officials for school lockdown drills. Grimes said they’ve provided the lawmen with copies of their plans so they can review them and, if necessary, help revise them.

“We’re going to do as much as we possibly can to have safe campuses,” Grimes said. “Our buildings have always been safe.”

For Shelton, the collaborative effort with law enforcement adds to keeping his staff and students safe and secure.

“It’s comforting,” he said.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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