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Thread: Security at Kyron's School

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Security at Kyron's School

    I know I have posted this before but I would like to make a thread on it. I live in a town of about 600 people total. The School here is Pre-School - 12th Grade it is all ONE school and no it is not a catholic school or a private school it is a public school. This right here is the statistics of the school year of 2009-2010:

    Total enrollment K-12 is 181 students. There were 23 students in the Class of 2009 and the senior class of 2010 had a total of 17 people in it.


    For as long as I can remember and I graduated in 2003 this school has had a security system on it. You have to sign in to even get into the school, they have security cameras set up, and if student is missing the school nurse will call home and find out why the student didn't come to school that day.

    I am frustrated beyond belief with Kyron's school. I really feel that if they had a security setting set up like any normal school would have they could have found Kyron by now or at least had a lot of info as to who he left the place with. Something needs to be done about this school. They need to be held accountable in someway for this. This is an outrage!
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  3. #2
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    WillenFan - I agree with you to a point. I'm going to withhold my judgment until this all plays out. If TH took him - then no, the school should not be held accountable - but YES they should definitely take their security system/plan up 4 - 5 notches!!!!!

    I'm willing to bet that this school will ahve security cameras by the time school starts in August.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    I'm willing to bet that this school will ahve security cameras by the time school starts in August.
    Im guessing they will have an officer there and teachers will check and recheck attendance throughout the day - Security will be tight. IMO

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    I honestly thought after all the school shootings etc. security at schools was beefed up. I know where I live it's air tight. You have to physically be buzzed in the school. The office staff can see you on video when you buzz. I also know that personal phone calls home to those not in school without prior notification occur. This is in elementary through high school around here. I am SHOCKED that a child can be absent at this school without a phone call home. It boggles my mind.
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    I know if the school had cameras, something would have been recorded. However, if the school had some kind of phone call policy in place, I wonder if it would have mattered.

    Imagine this scenario (especially consider in my hypothetical scenario that the guardian involved is frequently at the school):

    "Where did so and so go?"

    'Bathroom?"

    "So-and So's mom just popped in and she said they had an appointment this afternoon, they just left"

    "Ok, I'll let the office know"

    ...and then the Office people would say "Well then, we obviously don't need to call their house regarding so-and so's absence, she was just here and physically told us"


    I guess i think an additional security feature should be written documentation in regards to the date of the absence signed by a guardian and also the guardian picking up the child must sign the child out.

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  11. #6
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    Special events is when security goes all to heck. I've seen people open cafeteria doors
    ( only opens to go out, you can't enter through it ) to let someone in so that they do not have to walk around.

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  13. #7
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    I live in a small town too, and the system here is that the secretary will call you if your child is absent and you have not called it in.

    Pretty simple and basic, and in place for many years.
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  15. #8
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    I think we had better wait to blame the school for anything. If they had good reason to think Kyron was with his stepmother, why would they call his home? Even more so, if they were under the impression he had an appointment of some kind?

    The parents/population may have enjoyed the idea of a less rigorous atmosphere, it may have suited their idea of their community. And if it turns out Kyron left with with a guardian or parent, they may still be able to hold onto that idea. But I am sure they will have cameras etc. in place, in any case.
    Just my opinion, of course.

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  17. #9
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    For the last six years, I have worked at a rural elementary school with approximately 600 students in grades k-6. This year we finally received funding and had security cameras installed but only at the main entrances and exits of the building. It is required that you check in and out with the office but not everyone will do this. We have "those people" in all towns that believe that they are above the rules and will not be bothered with signing in or out of the school. "They" believe it's their child they can come and go as they please.

    Also, if a child is absent no one calls to see why the child isn't there, it's usually up to the teacher to obtain a note from the child's parents as to why the child was absent. All schools are different depending upon state guidelines.

    I'm just saying I can't imagaine the school being held accountable for his disappearance especially if he was counted absent on that day unless the school has him on video in the school on that day.

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  19. #10
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    "The school should be just as guilty as the person who is behind this"?

    Oh please. Equating human error with possible kidnapping and worse is beyond the pale.

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  21. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MD MOMMY View Post
    I honestly thought after all the school shootings etc. security at schools was beefed up. I know where I live it's air tight. You have to physically be buzzed in the school. The office staff can see you on video when you buzz. I also know that personal phone calls home to those not in school without prior notification occur. This is in elementary through high school around here. I am SHOCKED that a child can be absent at this school without a phone call home. It boggles my mind.
    I have the same thing implemented at the school my child goes to. However, at their end of the year presentation they opened up the teachers parking area for parents to park and anyone could walk across the playground and enter the school. There was no buzzing in or signing in that day - at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by kseal07 View Post
    I'm just saying I can't imagaine the school being held accountable for his disappearance especially if he was counted absent on that day unless the school has him on video in the school on that day.
    I think that Kyron's story could be the case to try and get this passed for each school. I know that money is tight around here lately, but if we focus as collective (meaning, parents start rallying for security equipment at the school, to call when a child is absent, etc. etc.) things could and probably will change.

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  23. #12
    question for clarification...

    Wasnt it the "school and/or district policy" that the school did NOT have to call the parents if a child didnt show up for school ????

    tia

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  25. #13
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    A school is not a money making entity. Except for fundraisers. If taxpayers want security in schools, they will have to vote to provide the money to do that.

    If the taxpayers do not see that as an issue, then it will not happen.

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  27. #14
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    So many schools in IL have to have a signature and time of departure for the child to leave. Even when my kids were in High School I had to go into the attendance office to sign them out before they would let one of my kids leave with me. It should be that way in ALL schools.

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  29. #15
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    I think the school should be held accountable because they all need security cameras for the doorways and halls. Also, Kyron's coat and backpack are said to have been left in his classroom, and I can't believe that the teacher or classmates never noticed. The teacher just assumed that the doctor appt. was for that day, but didn't actually hear for sure, plus had reason to believe that he did not because she still had to fill out paperwork and there was the talent show. Kyron's emergency numbers should have been called at some point during the day because the school did not actually have a reported excused abscense from his parents. Assuming something is not an abscence report. However, Kyron was seen with his SM before the 8:45 bell when the kids were to gather into small groups for tours of other class science projects. Again though, this was just an assumption that he actually left with her on a day that he should have been there for the fun day, they were not told that he was ill that morning, his things were there, there was paperwork to still fill out, and no real abscence report.
    Last edited by txsvicki; 06-22-2010 at 12:19 AM.

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  31. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kseal07 View Post
    For the last six years, I have worked at a rural elementary school with approximately 600 students in grades k-6. This year we finally received funding and had security cameras installed but only at the main entrances and exits of the building. It is required that you check in and out with the office but not everyone will do this. We have "those people" in all towns that believe that they are above the rules and will not be bothered with signing in or out of the school. "They" believe it's their child they can come and go as they please.

    Also, if a child is absent no one calls to see why the child isn't there, it's usually up to the teacher to obtain a note from the child's parents as to why the child was absent. All schools are different depending upon state guidelines.

    I'm just saying I can't imagaine the school being held accountable for his disappearance especially if he was counted absent on that day unless the school has him on video in the school on that day.
    The small town nearest me has a population of almost 700. The K-8 there has less than 150 students; the older kids attend a joint high school with the next small town.

    This is a rural county with fewer than 15,000 population total. Every single decision the school district makes has to balance risk or benefit with cost. They do a good job, the kids in that school consistently score in the top 5% on the statewide tests. It is a school with a very low teacher to student ratio. The whole community works to keep that school doing well because we all know that if the school closes, the town will probably die.

    One big difference from Kyron's school is that the nearest "big" town is 40 miles away and has a population of 6,000. Why, they are so advanced there, they have a Wal-Mart that stays open all night!

    I'm sure that the local school would be easy pickings for a predator. But when you only have a couple thousand dollars a year to spend on stuff that is not mandated by the state, when you live in a place where there hasn't even been a murder in the last 100 years, do you spend that money on extra enrichment for the students (like computers) or do you spend it on security?

    So far, my local school board has chosen enrichment.

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  33. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by human View Post
    A school is not a money making entity. Except for fundraisers. If taxpayers want security in schools, they will have to vote to provide the money to do that.

    If the taxpayers do not see that as an issue, then it will not happen.
    Food for thought. Maybe if the school didn't hire that extra guidance counselor, they could use that money for security. I know I'm an old fogey but that is the most wasteful job at school in my opinion. I'm sure there are some courses that could be deleted and basic education be provided for less. When my child was in public school the guidance counselors would be sitting in the break room half the day and I had one when I was in school but never saw him. Course that is in my state, don't know how other states do this, they may have a different name for the counselors.

    I would be more willing to fund security if the schools also had appropriate curriculems for reading , writing and math. Here, they don't, so I resent their asking for money for anything. Lets see, we are funding squirrel bridges in Arizona, and sending the Palestinians lots of cash, how about using that money on our children? Lets see, they allocate a certain amt of dollars per child, then they have to pay teacher's salaries, provide a bldg, heat or cooling. I know I'm in the minority about this, but those teachers that cannot even speak proper English should go. Lots of ways to cut the budget.
    Last edited by PorcineGranny; 06-22-2010 at 12:42 AM.
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  35. #18
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    If my child were known to be in school at the beginning of the school day, and then it was noted later that the child was no longer there - AND NO ONE KNEW FOR ABSOLUTELY SURE THAT THE CHILD HAD LEFT WITH A PARENT - then, yeah...I would place some responsibility on the school.

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  37. #19
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    I thought this blog post was interesting, re: school security...

    Is This What Happened to Kyron Horman?

    Yesterday, my husband was about ten minutes early picking up my 6-year-old daughter from school ... and saw her walking down the street outside the school by herself!

    She said she had gone to the lost and found to find her lunchbox and then couldn't find where her class went. (They were on the playground.) So she decided to walk out of the school and down the sidewalk (bordering a busy street) all by herself to see if her class had been dismissed.

    This scared the hell out of us -- that a kid (OUR kid!) could just walk off campus without anyone knowing. How easy would it have been for someone to just scoop her up and pull her in their car ... with no witnesses?!
    Read more: http://www.momlogic.com/2010/06/is_t...#ixzz0rYRFVzQv

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  39. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by PorcineGranny View Post
    Food for thought. Maybe if the school didn't hire that extra guidance counselor, they could use that money for security. I know I'm an old fogey but that is the most wasteful job at school in my opinion. I'm sure there are some courses that could be deleted and basic education be provided for less. When my child was in public school the guidance counselors would be sitting in the break room half the day and I had one when I was in school but never saw him. Course that is in my state, don't know how other states do this, they may have a different name for the counselors.

    I would be more willing to fund security if the schools also had appropriate curriculems for reading , writing and math. Here, they don't, so I resent their asking for money for anything. Lets see, we are funding squirrel bridges in Arizona, and sending the Palestinians lots of cash, how about using that money on our children? Lets see, they allocate a certain amt of dollars per child, then they have to pay teacher's salaries, provide a bldg, heat or cooling. I know I'm in the minority about this, but those teachers that cannot even speak proper English should go. Lots of ways to cut the budget.
    As a school counselor, I'm going to have to disagree. There are ways to find funding, especially since many organizations give grants for safety (as we just received a large one to fence in the playground that otherwise would have had to wait), I think school counselors are vitally important to the children they serve. Students who are not facing issues that would warrant visiting the school counselor often do not see the benefit they have but those that need them, maybe even Kyron, could and do often greatly benefit from them. Funding is tight and evidently that specific district never seen a need to reallocate some funds or apply for grants to provide the safety that would have helped in this case.

    That said, we have very secure buildings where everything is locked, you buzz into the office, you provide proof of who you are and why you are there and then if you are going to need to access the building, you wear a bright, big visitor tag and are signed into the office. There are cameras everywhere and all can be seen by the office staff as well as recorded. However, on days where we have activities in our buildings in the district, most of that goes out the window. The door is unlocked, you sign in but you don't prove who you are or why you are there to anyone, just sign some name and be on your way. Doors can be opened from the inside, for safety purposes, and you can go out them or let someone in them. Although this would be on video, you can easily gain access.

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  41. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    WillenFan - I agree with you to a point. I'm going to withhold my judgment until this all plays out. If TH took him - then no, the school should not be held accountable - but YES they should definitely take their security system/plan up 4 - 5 notches!!!!!

    I'm willing to bet that this school will ahve security cameras by the time school starts in August.
    I have to respectfully disagree with you on that. Even if she did take him if there was security camera's in that school then it would help LE a lot better to find out who exactly walked with him out of that school. Right now they don't even know if she was involved and that is my point. Having a camera in that school would help them determine that.
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  43. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by nikkiw319 View Post
    As a school counselor, I'm going to have to disagree. There are ways to find funding, especially since many organizations give grants for safety (as we just received a large one to fence in the playground that otherwise would have had to wait), I think school counselors are vitally important to the children they serve. Students who are not facing issues that would warrant visiting the school counselor often do not see the benefit they have but those that need them, maybe even Kyron, could and do often greatly benefit from them. Funding is tight and evidently that specific district never seen a need to reallocate some funds or apply for grants to provide the safety that would have helped in this case.

    That said, we have very secure buildings where everything is locked, you buzz into the office, you provide proof of who you are and why you are there and then if you are going to need to access the building, you wear a bright, big visitor tag and are signed into the office. There are cameras everywhere and all can be seen by the office staff as well as recorded. However, on days where we have activities in our buildings in the district, most of that goes out the window. The door is unlocked, you sign in but you don't prove who you are or why you are there to anyone, just sign some name and be on your way. Doors can be opened from the inside, for safety purposes, and you can go out them or let someone in them. Although this would be on video, you can easily gain access.
    I agree about school counselors as well as other things people feel are needed at a school.

    Because most people have attended school, they have thoughts on what a school should be or have. Most people have opinions because it comes out of their pockets.

    So if people feel strongly about something, they will have to lobby their appropriate funding sources to try to get what they need.

    What one person feels is important may not seem important to the next. That's why school issues are so fraught with drama. Everyone has an opinion and they often are diametrically opposed.

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  45. #23
    I dont see an answer to my question --- but anyways....

    All of this talk about "costs" for this little school to have some sort of security is confusing to me. I prefer to use the word "accountability" where the school is concerned - security (cameras) COST $$$$ ---

    But there are grants out there for "school safety" upgrades & equipment. There are also tons of fundraising ideas to use to bring in some money with little or no, up front - out of pocket expense. My kids schools raise money all the time for things they want or need and the fundraisers arent "school" fundraisers...its kids & adults taking it upon themselves to just do it - sell cokes at a garage sale & give the money to the " whatever fund".


    <<< If this can happen, there no reason why little Kyrons school & all the rest of them cant provide safe guards ------>>>>>> below...

    Oregon's Centennial School District recently placed CCTV surveillance cameras at high school and middle school campuses to curb thefts of school property, personal property, and vandalism and to enhance after-school activity safety.
    The system is actively monitored by school personnel. Link : http://www.library.ca.gov/crb/97/05/ (Oregon is used as an example for Ca. near the bottom of the page.)


    A daily account of students and other people in the building cost next to nothing.
    A couple of notepads doesnt cost a thing (Hello, Dollar Store).

    In my opinion, policy or not.....there is NO reason why a school (or any other place, like daycares, nursing homes, etc) cant afford at least a notepad to keep track of children's where-abouts by calling parents, ALL visitors & students & parents, signing in & out, noting appointments, etc...

    As for that particular day ------ this activity (science fair) was open to the public as I understand it.....if you really think about it ---- theres no telling who the heck was in, out & around that school that day.
    Nobody will ever know --- and all it took was a little notepad.

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  47. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by human View Post
    A school is not a money making entity. Except for fundraisers. If taxpayers want security in schools, they will have to vote to provide the money to do that.

    If the taxpayers do not see that as an issue, then it will not happen.

    I disagree. A school or shall I say, the people, darn well can be a money making entity if they want to. Nobody has to vote on anything to get the money either.
    Theres no reason why schools cant get things they want or need. NONE.
    "Taxpayers" are not needed.
    jmo

  48. #25
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    Nothing that has been released indicates that the school behaved negligently. It is clear that neither the teacher nor the principal was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. This indicates that it is not believed that there was any wrongdoing on the part Portland Public Schools.

    Could they have had better security? Maybe.

    Cameras- Let's say that the school had cameras at every door and a few in the hallways. Perhaps we would have a bit more clarity in who Kyron went with, but it would’ve been unlikely that it would’ve prevented the person from taking him. (Our school security cameras are incredibly unclear and take a picture every couple of seconds instead of rolling tape. We’ve needed to review them for legal purposes before and had very little luck with gathering needed information.)

    Calling Home- Our school system calls home for absences in secondary grades only. Think about it: before Kyron, who would’ve ever thought these calls home could determine that a child had been abducted? The reason school districts across the US instituted this policy was to crack down on older kids skipping school. That’s not something elementary children tend to do and therefore they are exempt from this policy.

    Sign Out Procedures- We have no indication that Skyline does not have a check out procedure. We all know that criminals abide by policies, so I’m sure Kyron’s abductor would’ve made sure he was properly checked-out for the day before loading him up.

    The only way school districts can totally prevent a kidnapping is to stop having special days altogether, only allow approved staff inside the building, and close the school up like Ft. Knox with bullet proof barriers. That’s neither feasible nor realistic. The likelihood of a stranger abduction in school , especially one filled with staff, parents, and students (read: witnesses) is very low. I doubt any security could’ve saved Kyron, but it might’ve given LE a little more to work with.

    Regarding the suggestion of getting rid of guidance counselors to free up extra dollars: there is no one in our school who does more for our elementary children than our guidance counselor. She is in charge of all testing, counseling every single child in our school who come from less than ideal homes (the numbers are higher than you even want to know), working with government agencies to find assistance for families, reporting cases of abuse and neglect to Child Protective Services, making home visits, assisting with special needs children, and character development training for all students. Who would be able to fill all of these services if we didn’t have a GC? I’ll tell you now, that the teachers are too busy with teaching, paperwork, discipline, and lesson planning to possibly have time to take on all of those tasks.

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