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Schools Taking New Safety Measures

Equipment installed to lock doors during classes.
Today students had their new backpacks and supplies for the first day of school and Houston County schools had some new gear of its own; when the late bell rings the doors are automatically locked and if someone wants to come on school property they must go to a main entrance and wait to be approved to be let inside.

“Someone in the office will have access to see your picture and hear your voice and it will be like a call button and we can interact and basically we can you know ask for identification, what you're here for things of that nature,” said Derrick Morris, principal of Houston County High School.

Morris says he wants parents to still feel that the school has an open door policy--just without the actual unlocked door. He says the response has been positive--making teachers, students and their parents feel more at ease.

"The students you know they've kind of been hearing about it. We've kind heard them talking in the hallways this morning. The faculty and staff have been briefed on how to use the system so in general overall it’s going to be a great thing," Morris said.

"Doors are pretty nice. A little bit safer but you never know what might happen. But other than that, I feel pretty safe in my school," said Cooper Sellers, a student at Houston County High School.

Faculty and staff have been trained to use the new equipment and what to look for if they suspect a person may be coming to the school to cause harm.

"You know a lot of times, body language can say a lot. You know, facial expressions, things of that nature, tone of voice those types of things," Morris said.

Students and teachers at Houston County High School agree that their school is very safe but after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year, the county decided it was time to pay more attention to security and safety--even in the safest of schools.
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