PRC High, Middle, now closed campuses

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Over the summer, the Pearl River County School District took an additional step to make the high and middle school campuses more secure to protect the students.
Before the summer of 2017, the Carriere campus was open, meaning it was hard to control outside visitors from coming on the property.
At the Middle School, the previous addition of a front lobby made the campus more secure. Over the summer, the same precautionary step was taken at the high school. PRC Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said he is relieved to say that after the installation of security measures at the high school, the entire Carriere campus is now closed.
“I think this is a great move,” Lumpkin said. “It’s the day and time we live in. You hear a lot of things happening on school grounds that could’ve been prevented if it were a closed campus, so we felt like this was a need for our community and for our students.”
When the campus was open, visitors could walk through the high school’s front doors and essentially have access to every hallway and classroom. To make it a closed campus, the District constructed a wall to restrict access to the main halls of the school, and developed a lobby area where visitors are required to sign in and pick up or drop off students.
Also, the Carriere campus is now surrounded by additional fencing and upgraded gates to funnel traffic through the front lobby, Lumpkin said. Any other access to the campus is restricted.
The updated gates allow students, faculty and other permissible visitors to leave campus, but prohibit visitors from entering the campus, Lumpkin said.
“These gates do more than protect everyone on the campus; it allows us to leave the campus in an orderly manner in case of an emergency without the use of a key,” Lumpkin said.
The McNeill campus, which houses the elementary schools, is also a closed campus, employing the same features o fthe newly closed Carriere campus.
“We’ve repeatedly seen how secure the McNeill campus is and it’s relieving to have a campus that’s secure. The admin team and campus police officers worked well together to make this happen on the Carriere campus, too. It’s a move we’ve been talking about for a couple of years. We are happy to see it completed,” Lumpkin said.

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