MEDFORD, Ore. -- The Medford School District is spending $100,000 on new security systems to be at the entrance of every building in the district.
Natalie Hurd, Communications Specialist, said in light of recent school shootings, the district wanted to look hard at current security systems.
After community meetings and public forums, the district decided to invest in a new doorbell and video camera system at every one of the district's 19 schools.
"They are really state-of-the-art, they come equipped with a big TV screen that will go in our front offices so that our office staff will see who is at the front door. They can also hear who is out there so a person would identify themselves prior to the office staff buzzing them in," Hurd said.
Washington Elementary parent Magan Hassell was one of the parents who pushed the hardest to get the new systems installed. She said the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had a lasting effect on him.
"My son was having so much anxiety, he did not feel safe to come to school and I wasn't feeling safe about it myself," Hassell said.
She worked to get community support for the tighter security. Meanwhile, her 12-year-old son, Isaiah, had work sent home to him for about two months.
Hassell said the school had the system installed and Isaiah immediately felt ready to go back to school.
Hurd said schools’ front doors will be open during drop-off and pickup times and the buzzers may be activated or de-activated at strategic times depending on the events during the school day.
All doorbells are expected to be installed by end of September.
In addition to the new doorbell system, the district is adding a fifth Medford Police Department School Resource Officer (SRO). The five SROs will be primarily stationed at each of the secondary schools (Hedrick, McLoughlin, Central, North and South) and each officer will have 2-3 elementary schools to serve when needed.