BCSC reviews security, eyes improved surveillance system

Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. leaders are reviewing security procedures at its schools, looking at increasing the number of drills it conducts, and considering making improvements to a 1,000-camera surveillance system protecting the Columbus-based school district.

Besides buying more security cameras, which Superintendent Jim Roberts said is a possibility, he told school board members Monday that there are also opportunities to improve the surveillance system from a hardware and software standpoint.

The school board and senior BCSC administrators met privately March 9 to review and discuss school district security — then used the school board meeting as an opportunity to provide a public update.

Roberts and Larry Perkinson, BCSC student assistance coordinator, visited each school building as part of a comprehensive evaluation tied to safety and security, the superintendent said. The district has three high schools, two middle schools, 11 elementaries and a pair of educational centers for preschoolers and adult education. Each of the buildings’ doors were checked during the review to ensure they were secure, Roberts said.

Threats against Columbus East and its students were made Feb. 20 and 21, within a week after 14 students and three teachers were shot and killed at a high school in Parkland, Florida. That incident led to March for Our Lives rallies across the country Saturday that drew several hundred thousand supporters, including one in Columbus that involved 60 people.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com