GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Bayou View Middle School Student Council member Lily Schloegel is confident in the new upgrades to her school.
“It shows a lot of how they feel for us," said Schloegel. "It was a really good way of showing us how they want to protect us.”
Students like Lily are why Gulfport School Superintendent Glen East says the district invested in safety at Bayou Middle School.
“Today’s world is changing on us pretty rapidly as we all know with the incidents of the past, and making sure that our kids are safe is our number one priority," East said.
The district spent $2 million on security enhancements that focused on limiting ways people can get into the school. Principal Jonathan Dill will sleep a little easier knowing that the upgrades have closed a number of those entrances.
“In the past, we had about 20 to 25 different doors available for you to kind of walk into. Several of the buildings have been added onto during the years," said Dill. "So, once we constructed the new office area then we put a fence around the perimeter of the school.”
Fences, security cameras and push-button coded entrances are a big step in what Principal Dill calls reassurance for parents in his community that his school fosters a safe learning environment in today’s world.
“To know that your child is safe every day when you drop them off at school, that when you come to pick them up, you know that they’ve had an enjoyable day, and that there’s been no issues. I think that makes a huge difference with parents.”
And according to Lily Schloegel, it means a lot to students as well.
“I feel a lot more protected. I think it’s a wonderful thing that our school has done and provided for all of us.”