Two of the four candidates running for three, four-year seats on the Mount Prospect Elementary School Dist. 57 Board of Education shared ideas on how to improve and enhance security in district schools to ensure continuous safety from potential intruders.
Challenger Charmaine Grippo stated that while visiting each school district, student and staff safety measures are utilized with the use of cameras, doorbells, locked doors, checkpoints, photo IDs, signing in, signing out, all while maintaining a welcoming environment.
Board member Chris Lettow said the safety of students and staff should always be the top priority of the administration and board.
“I strongly commend our administration’s efforts, in conjunction with the Mount Prospect police and fire departments, to thoroughly assess our buildings and to identify opportunities to make our schools even safer. This is an area where the job is never done, and continuous improvement is always going to be required.
“To that end, I support alarms that identify doors that are not completely closed and could be used for entry,” he said. “I support hardening entry doors and reinforcing them to prevent unwanted entry. I support expanding security cameras around our buildings to identify potential intruders before they attempt to enter buildings.”
Lettow feels that a prioritized list of safety improvements should be developed and a large portion of yearly budgeted capital funds should be allotted to school safety improvements.
Board member Kimberly Fay pointed out that Dist. 57 works closely with police and fire to ensure students and staff are well-protected.
“Thankfully, one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to enhance safety is by ensuring staff is trained in proper security habits, such as avoiding propping open doors, for example,” she said. “Other simple measures, such as requiring visitors to identify themselves before entering the building, can go a long way toward facilitating safety in our schools.”
Fellow board member Corrin Bennett-Kill emphasized Dist. 57 is committed to the security and safety of students, staff and facilities. To that end, he noted a security audit was ordered.
“Mount Prospect Police Chief Michael Eterno recently reviewed the audit recommendations and shared his thoughts on which efforts to prioritize,” she said. “The board instructed the administration to implement those recommendations and the funds were found within the current district budget.”
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