Billings schools beefing up security at graduation | Local | billingsgazette.com
- May 19, 2018
- Posted by: Moise Louissaint
- Category: Security Guard News
School District 2’s emergency preparedness director Mark Wahl, who recently took on security duties in addition to activities, said that recent concerns about security sparked by a school shooting in Florida were “absolutely” a factor.
“We just wanted to be a little more safe,” he said.
The district announced the changes in an emailed newsletter from Superintendent Terry Bouck on Tuesday.
The Metra is in the process of developing a three-tiered security system for events, he said, and SD2 asked for recommendations for a “moderate” security level.
That entails banning “large bags, backpacks or purses” and weapons, including anything covered by concealed carry permits. Items like small clutch bags and clear plastic bags and purses will be allowed, along with “medically necessary items.”
Metra employees will staff a bag check at entry doors to the arena. Parents and guests are expected to enter the arena through the main lobby, and graduates and SD2 staff are expected to use the lower level arena entrance.
The doors open one hour in advance of each graduation ceremony.
“(The Metra) assured us they could get everyone through in that time. I don’t think there will be long lines,” Wahl said.
- For West’s 10 a.m. ceremony, doors open at 9 a.m.
- For Skyview’s 2 p.m. ceremony, doors open at 1 p.m.
- For Senior’s 6 p.m. ceremony, doors open at 5 p.m.
The new rules also include a list of banned items:
- Bullhorns, whistles or other noisemakers
- Inflatables like beach balls
- Pets or animals except service animals
- Outside food or beverages
The Metra recently beefed up security at concerts. For a December show, the Foo Fighters required the venue have metal detectors at doors, which was a first for the Metra. Officials said that the detectors are likely to be used again.
This story previously incorrectly stated the date of graduation ceremonies. The date is Sunday, May 27.
On – 16 May, 2018 By Matt Hoffman