WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board has decided to spend nearly $66,000 adding new Aiphone Security Intercom Systems at all 44 elementary schools. It means all doors will be locked and guests will have to be electronically let in by office staff using the system.
The school system has tested the intercom security system at 11 elementary schools over the past several months and feedback from all the schools has been positive.
"It means there is a little pause in freedom in terms of being able to walk right in, but it doesn't mean it limits your access," said Floyd Lowman, Kimmel Farm Elementary School Principal
"As a parent it's great you could come in anytime, but on the other hand there is the concern of, if you can come in anyone can come in. When announced they were putting this in here, I thought it was fantastic," said Crystle Transeau, a parent at Kimmel Farm,
The system has a camera that is activated when someone pushes the outside buzzer. Office staff can then look at the guest, talk to them, find out why they are there and grant entry electronically.
"It means no other doors in building are unlocked, there is one point of access for everyone," said Lowman.
School officials say they will start installing the systems before the holidays and should have them up and running in every elementary school by spring. Two-third bond money will pay for the systems.
School leaders also voted to spend about $30,000 to add signs at every county school.
The signs with classroom number or identification will be posted in the outside windows so law enforcement can see them upon arrival should they need to get to a certain classroom immediately.