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With school shootings in the news, Dayton schools to get high-tech security makeover

Posted at 6:52 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-02 19:48:04-04

DAYTON, Ky. -- Like many parents in the United States, Shea Kubrick is grappling with a sharper-than-ever anxiety when she sends her child to school each day. 

"It's concerning having a child who is going to be in kindergarten next year and then all these things happening," she said Wednesday.

"All these things" are shootings, some of them fatal, at American public schools. The Valentine's Day Massacre that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has become the most notorious of these events in 2018, but it's far from the only instance of such violence this year.

Two students died in a deliberate shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky; an accidental shooting in Birmingham, Alabama, claimed the life of 17-year-old Courtlin Arrington in March.

On April 20, CNN estimated a total of around 20 shootings had occurred on American school grounds since the start of the year. 

Dayton Independent Schools superintendent Jay Brewer shares Kubrick's concern, he said, which is why his district recently approved a $38,000 investment in security cameras and automatically locking doors for the upcoming academic year.

"We need to be as aggressive with active school shooter drills as we are with fire drills," he said.

One button will be able to lock every classroom door in a given school, and a school resource officer will be able to observe the entire building through security camera feeds. 

Dayton Independent Schools has also invested in NaviGate, an app that provides first responders with three-dimensional maps of school buildings in case of emergency.

"I feel a lot better actually, know that they are taking these things seriously and not saying, ‘Oh, this will never happen to us,'" Kubrick said.

All of the new security measures will be implemented by the start of the fall semester, according to Brewer.