Duncan Public Schools making major security upgrades

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 7:08 PM CST
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DUNCAN, Okla. (KSWO) - Duncan Public Schools (DPS) is working to complete projects from a school bond that was passed a few years ago. Currently they are working on upgrading security throughout the district.

“Gates like this are in the process of being put up around each school in the district. This will stop people who aren’t students or staff members from freely walking through each campus.”

For the first time ever, Duncan High School will now be able to lock down their entire campus in the event of an emergency.

The high school hasn’t been able to do that because of the multiple buildings on campus.

“Normally in a lock down situation, which we practice every year, we practice intruder drills and things like that. It’s like quite a bit of time to go around and check all of our exterior doors, with a fence that’s going to cut out time at least in half, so it’s going to help tremendously. That plus the badge cards we have for students it’ll really increase safety,” Duncan High School Principal Wade Hampton said.

At the elementary schools, the gates will block access from playgrounds and the fields around it.

“It does help us keep out people who aren’t supposed to be on the playground during the day. Our playgrounds are public spaces after hours, but during the school day they really are more private spaces. They really are just for our children. We want to make sure we are keeping off those who aren’t supposed to be there out of our playground. We’re happy to have people come. We’re happy to have people on our playground, but during the school day we have to be a lot more careful about who is there,” Horace Mann Elementary School Vicki Nighswonger said.

It will also stop unauthorized vehicles from driving up on the grass around the playgrounds.

“They would put ruts in the grass and make it really dangerous for kids to run and play. When a student, a child is running and playing they are not looking at the ground to see where they are running, and if they hit one of those ruts they roll an ankle. They can easily be hurt just from running across those ruts,” Nighswonger said.

DPS said its number one priority is to ensure the safety of students and this a step in the right direction.

“With anything that we do construction wise we know there is always going to be a problem or two, here or there, so we will reevaluate the positions of the gates, the position of the fences just continuously over the next few years. Our commitment to students is to keep them safe,” Hampton said.

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