Portage High School tightens security in wake of Sandy Hook - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Portage High School tightens security in wake of Sandy Hook

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Ever since the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut, schools have been working extra hard to prevent another incident like that from ever happening again.

Portage High School is just one local school district that's using new measures keep the halls safe.

"What used to happen, is that when a visitor would come to the high school, they would buzz the office from here, we would then buzz this door, and they would enter the school," David Harman, Director of Support Services, points out.

Not anymore. Starting this fall, visitors to the high school and seven other schools in Portage Township won't get in so easily. The township is spending $180,000 to reconfigure school entrances. Visitors who once were buzzed in and then could sneak down a hallway, will now be funneled down a walkway where they'll come face to face with a secretary.

"The first thing that happens is they have to come in and see a person and get directions to where they are going," Harman explains.

Some schools in the area already had similar entrances, but the Sandy Hook Massacre last December prompted school officials to re-examine school safety.

"We immediately put our own committee together, and that's with Dave, and we have our own board member on the committee, we had Portage police representation on the committee," school superintendent Ric Frataccia says.

Other less visible steps have also been taken, like trimming the bushes around this elementary school so police have a clear view inside if there's a crisis. Of course, there are no guarantees.

"When you're dealing with an idiot like Sandy Hook, you just hope for the best," Frataccia says.

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