Pullman School District updates security in several schools

Security measures include electronic locks, exterior intercoms



Joseph Thornton, director of operations at the Pullman Public Schools district, said the safety project cost $40,000 total for three schools.

JAKOB THORINGTON, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman School District has upgraded security measures at three of its elementary schools to ensure staff always knows who’s coming into their buildings.

The security changes were implemented at Sunnyside, Franklin and Jefferson elementary schools. The schools received electronic locks, cameras and exterior intercoms that receptionists will use to speak to school visitors.

Joe Thornton, the district’s director of operations, said these measures will prevent people from coming into a school building without first checking in.

While he was glad the schools received this upgrade in security, Thornton said the necessity of it frustrated him.

“Times have certainly changed,” he said. “I remember when people could come through the back door to a school to drop their kid’s lunch off.”

Sunnyside Elementary’s principal Pamela Brantner said these security measures help ensure that the school is meeting its top priority in educating children and keeping them safe. 

The project cost about $40,000 across the three schools, Thornton said.

He also said that newer buildings like Pullman High School and Kamiak Elementary already have these measures in place and didn’t need additional security upgrades.

The only school in the district that doesn’t have these upgrades is Lincoln Middle School. Thornton said the district plans to expand and remodel the school next summer and will install similar security measures then.

Brantner said another measure her school uses are printed visitor badges given after someone has checked in with the office.

“There were times where we’d have parents where I and the secretary know who they are, but not every staff member may know them,” she said. “It’s another layer of protection.”

Sunnyside Elementary secretary Carmen Roberts said that she and other families will embrace these security upgrades.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “It honestly makes my job easier because everyone in this building should be identified and this makes monitoring that a lot easier.”