LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Leaders with the Lansing School District have added new safety features inside school buildings that give them a better look at what’s happening in the hallways.
As a new semester reaches full steam for Lansing Schools, officials say periodic reviews and federal funding are helping them monitor day-to-day classes.
“Things changed a lot in the last few years between school violence across the country and also covid which was really devastating in a lot of ways and now there are a lot of needs out there that weren’t there before perhaps,” said Bruce Lankheet, Public Safety Director at Lansing School District.
Lankheet says while the last few years have been a challenge for school districts, it has also provided a chance to reflect and better address safety.
Lankheet says from mental health to surveillance and communication, the district has been able to invest thanks to grants and bonds.
Lankheet says an ID program is now in every school this year. While it’s fairly new, it offers entry data for attendance, bussing and more.
“It’s for students to swipe in at the events… It will also tell us if they are not allowed at the game for whatever reason. It will also tell us how many students are at the game for example,” he said.
In October 2022, the district was awarded a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Lankheet says the funding has helped the district improve communication between the schools and Ingham county dispatch.
Funding also went into equipping staff with ALICE training, a program used to better prepare schools for an active shooter situation. A skill set he says is practiced throughout the year.
“If there’s an internal threat in the building, that’s what’s being practiced during the lockdown drill and that’s what this ALICE program is, how to respond to an internal threat,” said Lankheet.
While each year brings new challenges, Lankheet is confident administrators and educators are moving in the right direction.
School officials say other upgrades include a separate entryway for people visiting the schools and adding more security cameras and metal detectors could be added down the road.