District 80: spend big on security while keeping the gates open

Giles school Oriole Ave gate

Inability or unwillingness to keep the gates closed contradicts district’s claimed push to upgrade security

District 80 has been very talky about security upgrades at the school, from the phone system to building changes that will limit how far an unauthorized person can get into the school building itself.

All of which seems like reasonable upgrades. But the school has an existing security feature surrounding the school that it can deploy now: it’s called a gate and a fence.

A fence is a device consisting of metal bars, when arranged in a certain way, physically prohibits access to a given area. A gate is a gap in the fence which permits you to allow and control access in the fenced-off area. (Obvious explanations given for District 80’s benefit).

It’s likely the school would need to keep at least one of them open in the event the students had to exit the building quickly (a fire, for example), but why are all 3 gates being left wide open? Don’t students play in both of those areas?

A better solution may be for the district to modify the gates to allow for exit from the inside while prohibiting entry without a key or security badge.

Giles Cullom Ave big gate

However, why spend tens or hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to upgrade security at District 80 when its employees can’t, or perhaps won’t, keep at least some of the existing gates closed?

Perhaps no-bid hire and Giles principal Stephanie Palmer is too busy lavishing praise and photo ops on board members Frank Stoffel and Mike Bellafiore to be concerned about such trivial matters.

It may not concern her of at least three such incidents in the last year about the gates at Giles school being left open on school days.

Not serious about security?

For all the District’s (empty) rhetoric, they still aren’t taking security any more seriously now than before.

The Norridge Schools Foundation has recently acquired funding to address some security related issues at District 80.

However no amount of money from the Foundation nor any other source can buy what is in the shortest supply for District 80’s leadership – common sense.

Keeping the gates closed, while not costing the District anything on dollars, is apparently too taxing on the leadership’s limited intellectual capacity. Nothing new to report there.

Giles Cullom Small Side Gate

But elections are coming up in April. Should voters, especially parents, re-elect the same people in charge of this fiasco for another 4 years?

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