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Mishawaka schools increase security, just in time for back to school

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- It's back to school time for many children across Michiana. Nine different Mishawaka schools are getting updated and upgraded, with a various assortment of infrastructure and construction projects. 

But the most important project? 

Security.

"It's unfortunately a necessity at this time," says Mike Faulkner, the Director of Operations for the School City of Mishawaka. "Everywhere across the country, school corporations are really tightening up their belts for safety and security. And we're doing the same."

Keeping kids safe in school.

It's a subject not many people want to have to talk about.

But Mishawaka school school officials say, it's a necessity. 

"Different tragedies happening around the state, the country, and the world. One thing we can't do is put our head in the sand and say it won't happen here. It's simply the wrong way to act and prevent some things," says Theodore Stevens, the Assistant Superintendent. 

That's why, with the referendum money the school corporation was granted in November 2016, they're upgrading safety and security procedures. 

It all starts from the minute someone walks in. 

"When patrons come into the building, they'll have to present their ID. The ID will be scanned for a background check, and based on the results of the background check, the visitor will either be allowed in the building or have to remain in the vestibule," explains Stevens. 

New security vestibules are being build.

Glass doors and a window, will help school staff keep out people who may want to do the children harm.

"It's the era that we're living in," says Faulkner. 

Steven says, as a parent, he's happy with the changes. 

"It's not to say our schools were unsafe before. We had some practices and procedures in place," he explains. "But at the same time, I feel like these enhancements to security at this time, will make us safer than we were before."

While the vestibules won't be completed until September, the check-in process will begin the first day of school.

"I want to send my kid to school, knowing that there are procedures in place, in case of the worst case scenario," adds Stevens.

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