WNYT.com

Hudson Falls Schools add extra layer of security following Sandy Hook massacre

Posted at: 01/28/2013 4:19 PM
Updated at: 01/28/2013 9:08 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

HUDSON FALLS - A phone equipped with video and an intercom system the latest step to keep schoolchildren safe.

Once reserved for bigger city districts, cameras at the front door are now being used at rural schools like Hudson Falls.

The video and audio go on-line here next week. No one gets in to any of the district's five schools without first buzzing the administrative staff, who will see them and talk to them.

"I'm here to bring my son's lunch," said a parent standing in front of the new camera.

The extra layer of security is directly related to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"This is all a result of the shootings in Newtown. While the students are here, the doors will be all locked," said Mark Doody, Superintendent of Hudson Falls Schools.

Superintendent Doody has been educating children for nearly three-and-a-half decades. He remembers when it was rare to even lock the front door of a school.

"It's really been a progression. I can remember a few years ago we put the swipe cards in," he said.

The new system will be used during the school day, after children have arrived. The 375 fourth and fifth graders at Hudson Falls Intermediate will hardly notice a difference. Much like a few years ago when the school added a vestibule, funneling all visitors to the main office where staff could then buzz them  into the school hallway.

Now, no one gets in the first door without first being seen and heard.

The total cost for the five cameras is about 55-hundred dollars and all of it is paid for with a state grant.

If it keeps students safe, the school says it will be money well spent.

The schools begin using the new system on Monday.