Branson schools increase security measures for new school year

It’s back-to-class this week for many students and one Ozarks district is upping security measures as the school year starts.

When visitors come to any Branson campus, they’ll notice some changes in the entry process. The new buzzer system provides more security and screens each visitor before they enter.

"You hear the bell and then that opens up the door for you to go into the building," Branson High School Principal Chip Arnette said as he demonstrates the system.

The new live camera system allows school staff to control who comes in. it's an extra measure for a safer school.

"Several years ago, we set up the school so that all students, all visitors, had to funnel through the main office. This is just another layer of security that we monitor who comes in the doors," Arnette said.

Arnette says unfortunately as times change, school security must change too.

“With all the things that have happened around the country, I mean, everybody understands that we want to be as proactive as we possibly can. We hope and pray that this will never happen in our community, however we want to make sure we are doing everything that we possibly can," Arnette said.

That's also why the district is partnering with the City of Branson to place police officers on every campus, not just the junior high and high schools.

"It's not always common to put SROs on an elementary campus but I think that's again going to the day in time in which we live," Branson Schools Superintendent Dr. Brad Swofford said.

Dr. Swofford says it's about starting the school year with safety at the top of mind.

"Putting out community and our parents at a place where they feel their kids are secure," Dr. Swofford said.

Dr. Swofford says parents were made aware of these changes prior to the start of the school year.