MONROE (WKOW) — Students and staff at Monroe District Schools will see an extra layer of security when heading back to class this fall.
Starting in June, Attorney General Brad Schimel and the state Department of Justice started awarding $100 Mil in grants to make Wisconsin classrooms safer. The grants are split into two categories – primary and advanced.
Monroe District Administrator Rick Waske plans to use a portion of the more than $102,000 awarded to his district to have shatter-resistant film installed on entry doors.
“The first tier really involved protective film on the front entrances. And also there were some other eligible expenses under that that our buildings didn’t qualify for. So that first tier, we were able to put that safety film on our primary entry doors in all five buildings. And that second tier, which is up to $20,000 a school, is what we were able to use fortify some of our others, whether it be internal alarms on interior doors or whether it be adding security film or the video systems,” Waske said.
“We use the secondary part of the grant to use the same film on the side panels on the entry doors and some of on the doors on the sides and backs of the buildings to make the ground level more secure for our students and staff,” he said.
3M is one of the leading providers of the technology that will be used at some schools across that state.
In a video provided by 3M — it compares how much longer it takes to break through a window with the film installed — a 55 sec. difference.
“What it provides is a barrier of time. And it also provides on opportunity to slow somebody down if they were trying to get into a building illegally,” Waske said.
The shatter-resistant film will act as a deterrent to give teachers, students and staff additional time to react in case of an emergency.
“And certainly slowing people down allows for time for reaction and also for contacting law enforcement,” Waske said. “We want to keep our students safe, we want to keep our staff safe.”
Following some of the tragic events this past year, Waske received a lot of feedback from community members asking what they were doing to make the school buildings as safe as possible. Students and staff will notice other security upgrades at districts schools.
“In our district we have 5 buildings, 3 elementary, one middle and one high school. And at all of our buildings, we’re going to install a video/audio system in which individuals can buzz into building and can be seen by office personnel before they can use the electronic locks to unlock doors. So that way they can request information or ask for identification as people are coming into the buildings,” Waske said.
“If we lived in a perfect world where we didn’t need these kinds of protective measures, we wouldn’t be asking for them,” he said.