Gresham School District implementing new security measures

GRESHAM, Wis. (WBAY) - In light of recent school shootings across the country, the Gresham School District is implementing security upgrades, hopefully in time for next school year.

"It's scary, and I think we need to make some changes and get a lot more people and students in lot more secure buildings and doors and stuff," said Ryan Schroeder, a senior at Gresham High School.

Students at Gresham High School say it's time for a security upgrade.

The main entrance leading to both the elementary and high school is unlocked a majority of the time. The school's resource officer, Scott Brown, constantly guards the door for security.

"It's kind of scary actually 'cause if you think about it anybody can walk in at any time. It's not like they're locked. They're never locked really,” said Ryan.

The district is partnering with the Shawano County Sheriff's Office and Stockbridge-Munsee Police Department to put together a building security plan and exercises in case of a dangerous situation.

“It is easy to get into this building, and it's our responsibility as leaders to try and make that a little bit harder. We want to harden the target. We want to make sure that weapons aren't getting in here, people that intend to do harm, we want to make that as hard as possible," said Sheriff Adam Bieber with the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office.

"Yeah it should've happened a while ago, but it'll really help everyone because I have siblings in this school, and with all that stuff happening I'll feel a lot better about them going to school here," said Drew Haffner, a senior at Gresham High School.

Both Gresham schools applied for the state's School Safety Initiative Grant, which awards each school up to $20,000 for added security measures.

The three front doors will be replaced with shatterproof glass. The school will also install a camera, buzzer system and a fob lock system requiring faculty members to swipe a card before entering the building.

"It's going to be nice to have it safe and secure so when parents come they feel good about picking up their kids. They’ll feel good about, you know, coming into the office and be buzzed in and do all the required things. We don't even have a buzzer system there now," said Newell Haffner, Gresham School District Administrator.

The district's safety plan will cost an estimated $130,000. School budgets will cover remaining costs after grants.

"You have to have safe, secure schools. You have to be able to regulate your facility. And it's not a matter of, well, we'd like to. It's now a matter of ‘you have to.’ I think for the kids and the teachers it's important to be safe," said Haffner.

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