Active Shooter Preparedness: Bremen Schools implementing new safety measures
BREMEN, Ind. -- Thousands of dollars are being spent to ensure that kids at Bremen Schools are safe in the event of an active shooter.
A school safety initiative plan includes a two story secured front entrance, a new bus driveway to separate traffic, a new door system where the school can be secured through an app on a cell phone, and equipment in the classrooms that teachers can barricade doors with.
Reggie Flesvig, Bremen Middle School’s Assistant Principal and Security Director, said it’s no longer an option not to be prepared.
“When this building was designed a long time ago, active shooters weren’t a thing,” Flesvig said. “And now they are. It’s a sad reality that we live in but we have to be prepared for it.”
The project will partly focus on securing entryways and classrooms in the elementary, middle and high school.
“We’re going to upgrade our swipe card system so that we can, from a cell phone, do a lockdown,” Flesvig said. “We are also going to improve our bus drop off and pick up location.”
Changes to the bus drive will ensure that students who walk or bike to school are safer as well as those students who take the bus home or have their parents pick them up. Instead of having cars and buses load in the same area, they will soon be separated.
Another safety addition will sit on the doorways as a magnet and will help barricade classroom doors in case of an emergency. The gadgets are made from donated, repurposed fire-hose and easily slide onto the back piece of the door to prevent a shooter from getting inside a classroom if they break the lock.
The barricading gadgets are already being distributed to classrooms K-12 but some other safety measures are going to require a little bit more time.
Plans to secure the front entrance of the elementary and middle school include a two story building project. The elementary office will be downstairs and the middle school office will be upstairs.
Right now, after being buzzed into the buildings, visitors are not led directly to the office to sign in and can easily access other parts of the building.
“There are people who won’t stop in the office and just come into a classroom but moving the offices to this area and making it two floors, we will then have a secure system,” Flesvig said.
“You can’t say that would never happen here in Bremen, because that’s what they said in Newtown, Connecticut, that’s what they said in Parkland and it can happen anywhere. So we have to be prepared.”
All of these upgrades are happening as soon as possible, with the fire hose barricades already in classrooms and the mobile app for lockdown expected to be fully functioning in the next month.
The front office and bus system upgrades are in the design phase now and construction should start in the fall.
Funding for the project will come partially from grants, from the remaining funds in schools bonds and from Bremen School’s rainy day fund.