WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School board decided Tuesday night they wanted more feedback before voting to spend $120,000 on Aiphone security devices at elementary schools.
“The device lets staff see who is outside and by pushing this button can unlock doors,” Darrell Walker, Assistant Superintendent for Operations showed the board. “This technology is what Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is looking at for all its elementary schools.”
The board is also weighing other security options for all schools including increased cameras, more school resource officers, fencing and additional door locks.
Over the past few weeks, the system’s operations department has been working with law enforcement in Kernersville, Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to assess ways to improve security at all schools.
Walker says they are asking questions like, “what is the realistic number of S.R.O.’s, how many kids can one officer really manage.”
Adding a school resource officer at every elementary school would cost $3.5 million according to a report shared with the board Tuesday night. Adding access control systems to every school in the county would cost $1.2 million dollars.
All suggestions with hefty price tags that could cost taxpayers.
“Obviously that is a challenge. I think it would force us to do is go back and talk to officials at county level or reallocate some capital funds set aside to repair buildings,” says Walker.
Parent Bill Davis says he’s ok with paying more,” for my kids safety they ain’t no price. If it would mean me paying more or money to school to have that extra sense of security for myself and for my child then that’s what I’ll do.”
Once the board decides what it’s in favor of those will likely be part of the upcoming budget sessions.