Students will see security changes at New Britain High this fall.
“Day one next school year, students will be required to swipe in the door when they come to school,” Robert Smedley Director of Facilities and Security at New Britain High School told NBC Connecticut.
Officials are working on tighter controls on who is coming into New Britain High School. The new security measures are coming this fall. In a couple weeks, inside the main entrance, there will be six machines set up so students can swipe a card right into class.
Angel de Los Santos will be a senior in the fall. He supports the idea.
“If it promotes safety, so I’m all for it!”
Smedley, who is also a city alderman, recently visited Brooklyn Technical High School in New York City and took video of students there swiping into school. Swiping identification cards are read into what’s called the Comprehensive Attendance, Administration and Security System. In September, CAASS is coming to New Britain High. School officials will no longer allow multiple doors to be open for student arrival in the morning, only the main entrance where CAASS will be set up.
“We’re going to change our culture. The students may know their friend walking in the door but whether door secured behind them or who walks in behind that person; we don’t know who these people are so we want to have them identified and proper attendance count in our building,” Smedley said.
The machines are similar to those you swipe through to ride the subway.
“The students will have a student ID with a bar code that will swipe through like a credit card swipe as they walk in the door. It creates an environment of student safety, student responsibility for attendance and accountability in the building,” Smedley explained.
“It’s actually pretty scary to think about someone coming in, hurting your friends, even you at school,” De Los Santos added.
The new swipe machines cost $2,000 each, and that price is already included in the school budget according to district officials. Down the road, officials hope private donors will help pay for systems in each classroom for attendance purposes.