MCPS to add card access and security cameras to schools - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

MCPS to add card access and security cameras to schools

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

Schools across the nation continue adding security or assessing their safety procedures as these days kids are more at risk during the school period than just a scraped knee on the playground. Now, Missoula County Public School District will join the many other districts who have security vestibules as a first line of defense to control access to campuses.

 All throughout children's lives, parents and adults emphasize to them the fundamentals of staying safe such as "don't talk to strangers", "look before you cross the street"  and "don't drink and drive." 

School is supposed to be a safe zone for kids, but it's not as safe as it used to be. 

In the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 5% of surveyed middle and high students across Montana said they did not go to school because they felt unsafe at school or on their way to or from school. 5.5% said they were threatened or injured with a weapon on school property during a 30 period. 7.6% said they were in a physical fight on school property during a 12 month period. 25% of the surveyed students said they were bullied during a 12 month period. This number is higher than the national average. 

The Montana Office of Public Instruction says despite those numbers, expulsion is not a common thing in any school district in the state. They cannot unveil those numbers if they are less than 5 for confidentiality reasons, but no district in Montana has a school with over 5 expulsions. 

Suspensions were a different story. 359 kids were suspended in the 2014-2015 school year in Missoula County Public Schools alone. 

Hatton Littman, MCPS director of technology and communications, says adding new security vestibules is not directly related to any isolated incident, but the intent is to make schools safer.

Last year, Missoula voters approved a $158 million school bond that would not only bring technical and structural upgrades to schools, but make them safer as well. All schools in MCPS will eventually use card access for entry. Most will have surveillance cameras at the entrance doors, which are monitored all the time, and some additional cameras in certain hallways.

This is something the Billings School District has done for the past 16 years. BSD administrators say it's worked well for them, causing very little trouble. Now MCPS is hoping for the same success from this added security measure.

"The reality is Missoula is not immune to safety issues that could happen any time just like they happen in small towns across the country so we can't always predict strange emergency scenarios that are going to happen. We are making those entry vestibules safer," says Littman.

Not every inch of the schools will be covered. The hall cameras are mainly there for purpose of review if an incident does occur. The card access and entrance cameras will be the real difference makers. They will be used all the time to let school staff know when someone is in the building.

The security systems will be built into the schools currently being constructed with all other schools to follow. 

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Police say Jermain Charlo disappearance could be kidnapping

    Police say Jermain Charlo disappearance could be kidnapping

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 6:02 PM EDT2018-07-17 22:02:48 GMT

    MISSOULA - Police released new information and new photos showing what Jermain Charlo was wearing before she disappeared on June 16 in Missoula. Det. Guy A. Baker said Tuesday that police are still searching for the woman, who was last seen near downtown Missoula late that Saturday night. 

    MISSOULA - Police released new information and new photos showing what Jermain Charlo was wearing before she disappeared on June 16 in Missoula. Det. Guy A. Baker said Tuesday that police are still searching for the woman, who was last seen near downtown Missoula late that Saturday night. 

  • Crews fighting lightning-caused fire in Northwest Montana

    Crews fighting lightning-caused fire in Northwest Montana

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 6:09 PM EDT2018-07-17 22:09:02 GMT

    80 firefighters are working to contain a lightning-caused wildfire in the Kootenai National Forest. 

    80 firefighters are working to contain a lightning-caused wildfire in the Kootenai National Forest. 

  • 12-year-old girl missing in Kalispell

    12-year-old girl missing in Kalispell

    Friday, July 13 2018 6:28 PM EDT2018-07-13 22:28:03 GMT

    KALISPELL - Police are asking for help finding a 12-year-old girl who hasn't been seen since July 6. 

    KALISPELL - Police are asking for help finding a 12-year-old girl who hasn't been seen since July 6. 

  • Sasquatch warnings posted in Northwest Montana

    Sasquatch warnings posted in Northwest Montana

    Monday, July 9 2018 2:07 PM EDT2018-07-09 18:07:35 GMT

    MISSOULA -  "SASQUATCH WARNING: Due to the increasing flows in the Yaak River, sasquatches are coming down from the high country to feed on fish and vegetation at the river's edge."

    MISSOULA -  "SASQUATCH WARNING: Due to the increasing flows in the Yaak River, sasquatches are coming down from the high country to feed on fish and vegetation at the river's edge."

  • Finally, indisputable proof: Bigfoot spotted in northern California

    Finally, indisputable proof: Bigfoot spotted in northern California

    Saturday, January 10 2015 4:33 PM EST2015-01-10 21:33:06 GMT
    ROSEVILLE, Cali.- There is new, indisputable proof that Bigfoot exists, and has been spending most of his time in northern California. The footage was sent to a Paranormal group by a photographer/videographer who specializes in aerial videography using a quadcopter. A quadcopter is a drone that is lifted and propelled by 4 rotors.
    ROSEVILLE, Cali.- There is new, indisputable proof that Bigfoot exists, and has been spending most of his time in northern California. The footage was sent to a Paranormal group by a photographer/videographer who specializes in aerial videography using a quadcopter. A quadcopter is a drone that is lifted and propelled by 4 rotors.
  • L.A., San Francisco, Portland: Bozeman Airport adds daily, nonstop flights

    L.A., San Francisco, Portland: Bozeman Airport adds daily, nonstop flights

    Monday, July 16 2018 7:07 PM EDT2018-07-16 23:07:02 GMT

    BELGRADE - Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport continues its growth with the announcement of flights from Bozeman to three new daily, year-round destinations. United Airlines recently announced it has added daily, non-stop flights to its California hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    BELGRADE - Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport continues its growth with the announcement of flights from Bozeman to three new daily, year-round destinations. United Airlines recently announced it has added daily, non-stop flights to its California hubs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

  • Bozeman says security breach stole some utility customers' credit cards

    Bozeman says security breach stole some utility customers' credit cards

    Monday, July 16 2018 12:58 PM EDT2018-07-16 16:58:57 GMT

    BOZEMAN - The city says some customers that used its Click2Gov utility payment system in 2017 may have had their credit information stolen.

    BOZEMAN - The city says some customers that used its Click2Gov utility payment system in 2017 may have had their credit information stolen.

  • Video goes viral about Bozeman man's flag

    Video goes viral about Bozeman man's flag

    Friday, July 13 2018 6:49 PM EDT2018-07-13 22:49:39 GMT

    A Bozeman man says he came home on Tuesday and found a note on his door asking him to take down his American flag. 

    A Bozeman man says he came home on Tuesday and found a note on his door asking him to take down his American flag.