Raleigh, N.C. — Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools has spent $500,000 on upgrades to the district's schools in an effort to make them safer.
Beginning with this school year, visitors must present an ID and alert the main office at the front entrance. Once inside, they sign in, are photographed and given a visitor's badge with their name printed on it that they must wear while on campus.
Nash-Rocky Mount school officials say the changes are one more layer of protection for students and school employees.
"The days of having open access, soft targets, are not over," Associate Superintendent Eric Cunningham said. "We wouldn't allow people to come into our home without first ringing the doorbell."
Other security upgrades are also planned, including fortifying the doors and requiring staff members to wear ID badges.
Parents like Savannah Speight, whose child is in second grade at Winstead Avenue Elementary in Rocky Mount, say they are pleased to know about the changes, especially in light of recent school violence like the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 students and school employees were among those killed in a shooting rampage.
"All the killings and shootings that have happened at the other schools, I'd hate for anybody to just walk up in here and do the same thing," Speight said.