BOLINGBROOK – Following two recent incidents that resulted in lockdowns in Romeoville and Bolingbrook schools, Valley View School District 365U officials say they have re-doubled efforts to ensure the safest possible environment for children and staff.
Superintendent James detailed several changes, including an increase in both the number of lockdown drills as well as the times of day during which the drills will take place, in a news release.
“We plan on holding drills before and after school and during lunchtime in all of our schools, as well as during passing periods in all of our middle schools and high schools,” Mitchem said. “We want to make sure everyone is prepared for as many scenarios as possible.”
On Jan. 30, a male student pointed what he thought was a real gun at a Bolingbrook High School teacher, police said. The gun was later determined to be a BB gun, according to police. The student was charged with felony disorderly conduct and aggravated assault.
Then on Feb. 13, a Romeoville High School student and her mother were shot – the daughter, freshman Briana Valle, later died – outside their home in the 300 block of Emery Avenue, just a block from Irene H. King Elementary School.
The release also states that Valley View will work to increase connections with the community by re-establishing the successful Friends and Neighbors Supporting Students program (FANSS) in both high schools and at all five middle schools, and by placing an emphasis on establishing proactive student support groups.
“It is impossible for any school district to guarantee that an event cannot happen on the campus," Mitchem continued. "But our parents can rest assured that Valley View School District’s security system, which is recognized as one of the most comprehensive in the state, is designed to do everything it can to keep our children and staff safe.”
Valley View makes security changes at BHS
• A new alarm system has been installed that alerts the staff of a hard lockdown and contacts the police, without needing to use the intercom system.
• In an effort to prevent students from opening exit doors during the day without an alarm going off, exit door alarms are being installed on doors 8, 10, 11, 14. These doors have been identified as off-limits for use during the school day. This will decrease the chances of an intruder entering the building unnoticed.
• An exterior strobe light system is being installed on the exterior of the building at doors 1 and 17 that will alert anyone outside the building when the school is in a hard or soft lockdown.
• The frequency of random searches will be significantly increased.