Green Forest (Ark.) School District implements new door scan security

Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2022 at 5:19 PM CDT
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GREEN FOREST, Ark. (KY3) - All schools throughout the Ozarks prioritize security measures during the summer months, like in Green Forest, where the district has implemented new door security scanners.

“The original thought behind that was securing the entries,” said Superintendent Dr. Matt Summers. “Most of our buildings are not that new and are not designed around a single point entry. So this allows us to have all of our doors locked.”

The upgrade also gives the district maintenance department real-time feedback on whether a door is propped open for an extended period or if the scanner is malfunctioning.

“If one of our doors remains open for more than a minute, we will be notified,” said maintenance and custodial director James Smith. “That way, we always know immediately if we have something that is not locked and can address that right away.”

The Green Forest School District has always been progressive with security measures, allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons just a few years ago.

“In the school world, in the church world, in any mass place now, if you’re not thinking, and looking, and acting differently, you’re probably a little bit behind the times,” said Dr. Summers. “We have members throughout the school that carry concealed (weapons), but we also have four school resource officers, one at each building. Again the door piece is just a small piece to that giant puzzle.”

In addition to those measures, in years past, the district has outfitted buildings with security cameras, parking lot barricades, and portable steel barricades for teachers to use on classroom doors in the case of an emergency.

“Those are things that we always have to be thinking. We never want to be reactive and remain proactive,” said Smith. “With the steel barricades, teachers can apply it in just a matter of seconds.”

Smith says his children attend the district and appreciates Green Forest taking education seriously and going above and beyond when it comes to safety measures.

Green Forest Schools says doors at all campus buildings will be outfitted with security card scanners when students return on August 15.

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