In the light of many violent school incidences nationwide, Greater Houlton Christian Academy has installed a new security system.
“Ultimately, we trust the Lord to protect our children,” said Headmaster John Bishop. “These safeguards are what we humanly can do.”
With the substantial gift received last summer, the Academy has upgraded its facility, which now includes security measures, which were developed by consulting law enforcement personnel.
“The first lockdown drill was successful,” said Bishop, which was held on Jan. 23. “Students and staff did exactly as they were instructed.”
Two Houlton police officers observed the procedure and offered their advice.
“We did gain a few more ideas for improving our security as a result,” Bishop noted.
Anyone wishing to enter the school during the day from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., will be asked to use the video intercom. Office staff will ask for identification and purpose for wanting entrance. Then, the visitor will wait for the door to be remotely unlocked and proceed to the main office.
All visitors in the building for an extended time will be asked to sign the visitor log and wear a visitor identification badge at all times. Once visitors are ready to leave the school, they will check out in the main office, return ID badges and exit through the main doors.
All staff will also have identification badges.
“Staff and students have been instructed not to open any doors to anyone, whether familiar or stranger,” explained Bishop.
That goes for parents of students at GHCA, as well.
“Please do not ask our staff or students to place themselves and others at risk, and for discipline, by opening any door without authorization,” Bishop added. “The safety and security of our students and staff rests on our ability to know and control who comes into our building. Using other entrances jeopardizes the safety of everyone.”
Seacoast Security has installed the video intercom and door release for the front entrance. The side doors are locked and alarmed and will be used as emergency exits only.
A staff member will be present at the main doors during arrival and dismissal times.