A Message from Dr. Jay Hancock…
In the fall of 1987, I started my studies at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. On the first day of class, I remember arriving early and walking down a classroom hallway. On my left and right, laying next to the walls, were small stacks of students textbooks and three ring binders. On top of some of the stacks was a purse. I quickly surmised that students had arrived early for class, set down their belongings, and headed to get a cup of coffee.
It was a unusual scene for me because I just graduated from a large university where textbooks left in a hallway would have been snatched up and sold at the university bookstore for some quick cash! I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live in a world that was as safe as that seminary hallway. Unfortunately, that is not the world we live in today.
During the past couple of decades, security in American schools has changed drastically. Once concerned about thieves, we are now concerned about shooters. As a result, parents and students understand that a regular part or their school experience includes security planning and drills.
This past Friday, CCS had our first lock down drill of the year. The drill went as planned. We will continue to have occasional lock down drills like the one yesterday as well as our regular fire and seasonal tornado drills. Officer Staats, Carmel’s new School Resource Officer from the Matthews Police Department, has attended several training sessions on school safety in the past couple of months and is in the process of helping us review our security procedures.
Kevin Hyatt, Executive Director of Finance and Operations, oversees CCS’s campus security. I asked him to give you an update on our current day-to-day building security procedures so that you can continue to help us keep our campus secure. Here is that update:
With a constant focus on the safety and security of the entire Carmel Christian School ministry, we have made a concerted effort to tighten access points throughout the campus. As many of you have noticed, there is now only one main point of entry for CCS families and students, outside of the normal drop off times in the morning and afternoon. This main school entrance, commonly referred to as “Donna’s Desk,” requires a form of government issued personal identification for entry. Even if personally recognized by our staff at the desk, you will be asked to present ID. All visitors to the Carmel Campus must display the appropriate form of visitor ID (name tag) at all times.
This main CCS entrance is also equipped with a buzz-in feature as well as a security camera and intercom system. Upon entry at this point, you will then be required to present proper identification, register in the LobbyGuard system, and secure a visitor ID badge before proceeding to your destination on campus. Once your school business is complete, you are then asked to return to the the reception desk (“Donna’s Desk”), hand in your visitor ID, and sign out.
Please know that these precautions, while at times may seem frivolous or time consuming, are necessary safeguards to ensure a safe campus for our students, faculty and staff.
Carmel Christian School is also not the only school utilizing such a process. According to Campus Safety Magazine, more than 93% of all schools nationwide control access to the building during school hours, including locking and monitoring entrances. Additionally, more than 90% of schools report having security cameras and video surveillance equipment installed on campuses. I can only envision this trend continuing to drive towards safer and more secure school campuses.
Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as remain vigilant in our efforts to keep Carmel Christian School a safe place Where Minds Engage, Lives Change and Hearts Serve.