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C.O. schools beefing up lobby and entrance security

Redmond schools seek funds for security upgrades

School security beefed up

REDMOND, Ore. - Schools across the country are increasing security, as threats are becoming more common, and the High Desert is no exception.

A teacher for 32 years, Bend resident Ernie Gilpin, thinks it has to happen.

"Unfortunately it's not only a good idea, it's necessary idea," Gilpin said Friday.

The sentiment was echoed by officials in other Central Oregon school districts, including Redmond Superintendent Mike McIntosh.

"It's sad that we live in a country, in a world, that this has become far too common," McIntosh said. "A school shooting this week, a church shooting a week or so ago, the event in Nevada -- there are just way too many instances in which lives are sacrificed at the hands of people that have no care for that."

And that's why next year, the Redmond School District is hoping to win voter approval of a $70 million bond measure, not only for maintenance, but also to secure lobbies at 10 schools and the main district office.

"A lot of experience is being gained every time there's a national tragedy, and so this has kind of become the industry standard as the best way to protect schools," McIntosh said.

A secure lobby is one that has a single entrance and a clear line of sight between the main office and that entrance, as well as a locked lobby that visitors have to pass through before entering the main building. 

Many Central Oregonians think it's a good idea, including Lynn Goodstein, a Bend resident who believes teachers should also have the right to carry guns. 

'You have to do something to protect the kids. I mean, you can't keep them home all the time, and the teachers too," Goodstein said.

But not everyone agrees, including Bend resident Michael Paul Adye. 

"The reality is it's probably a great idea, but in practicality I'm not sure it's going to go over well with parents and students and the taxpayers," Adye said.

Redmond isn't the only school district taking action.

Bend-La Pine Schools' new $268 million bond will go toward two new schools. but also to secure lobbies at eight schools over the next two years.

And the Sisters School District has a secure lobby at the elementary school and plans to build secure lobbies at the middle and high school. 

NewsChannel 21 reached out to Jefferson 509-J about its situation, but has not heard back. 

You can check out the Redmond School Bond info page at: http://www.redmond.k12.or.us/about/bond-planning/

School security is also the topic of our latest KTVZ.COM Poll: Do you think all school doors should be locked at all times? Find it halfway down the right side of our home page.


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