In wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting, Hillsboro USD 410 is updating its emergency operations plan to include an identification badge policy.
“It’s important for all of the students to know who is supposed to be here and who isn’t,” Superintendent Steve Noble said. “The badge says I’m supposed to be here and you can trust me.”
If the proposal passes, each USD 410 employee will be issued an identification badge at the start of his or her employment — or at the start of this policy. They are expected to wear their identification on a lanyard or on the outermost layer of clothing when they are on duty.
After much discussion, Superintendent Noble said on duty means whenever an employee was on school property. It also applies whenever an administrator or “crowd watcher” was attending a supplemental school function, like a sporting event.
“It is important for our presence to be known,” Noble said. “The students need to know who to run to if they need help. It’s our duty to safeguard these kids.”
But a couple board members were wary about this obvious con, saying that, if no adults saw the intruder, the students might just trust the adult wearing an identification tag — and not think about it, because they have been trained that people wearing the badges are “friendly.”
Noble said that once the district purchases the identification badges and equipment, it is relatively an inexpensive system.
Noble agreed to clarify some of the language in the proposal and submit it again for the board’s attention next month at their regularly scheduled meeting.
In other Business:
- The board agreed to look at prices of large fans to put in the school gymnasium, so students “don’t get heat stroke.” The estimated cost of the project is $22,000.
- USD 410 dug a new well, because the old one dried up.
- The board recognized the retirements of Donna Dalke, secretary, and Tim Isaac, maintenance worker. They also approved the resignation of Michelle Goldsby, a Hillsboro Elementary School kindergarten teacher.