ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The Ector County I.S.D. installed a new security measure at Bonham Middle School. The buzzer and camera system came after the school principal noticed visitors could enter the school without the front office's knowing.
"Prior to coming on campus, realizing our front doors and actually our doors leading out to our portables were wide open throughout the day. So that was a big concern of mine," said Bonham Principal Mark Ferrer.
Faculty also remarked at how easy it was for anyone to wander the halls during the school day. They worried about the safety of themselves as well as their students.
"It wasn't uncommon to see people come in and kind of stand around the foyer. It did occur to me that anyone could just walk in and if they turned left, they could just go down into the music wing there and no one in the office would even know that they had been in the building," said Carolyn Crary, assistant choir director
Parents have responded well to the new security measures too. Although it means they won't be able to get into the school as easily.
"It took them by surprise the first time that they used it, but then they were like 'This is really great. We like this,'" said Crary.
The new system utilizes a camera, which is displayed on a phone in the front office. When someone needs to get inside, they press a button and a staff member answers. The person is buzzed in and told to go to the office to sign in or to get further assistance.
School staff already say they feel safer with the added security measure and hope other ECISD schools can get the upgrade too.
"I don't have to be on the lookout from my classroom window to see if anyone is wandering the halls," said Crary.
Bonham's security system is being used as a pilot for other schools in the district. They'll be monitoring its usage to identify any issues to hopefully outfit other older school buildings with the system as well.