Revere schools add lockdown buttons to new buildings


Maggy Messner

The new lockdown buttons are installed in all schools except the current high school, and will be in the new high school.

Maggy Messner , Staff Reporter

The Revere Local Schools is adding new lockdown buttons that will put the school in an emergency lockdown and added new safety measures to increase student and staff safety. 

The Revere Local School District is doing many things  to increase safety within the schools. One of the new safety additions is brand new lock-down buttons at the schools that will create a safer environment in case of an emergency. The buttons are currently installed in three schools: Richfield Elementary School, Bath Elementary School and Revere Middle School. The new buttons will also be installed at the High School when construction is finished in Fall 2020. 

If an incident ever occurred where a lockdown was necessary, these buttons would create a more efficient way for a solution to occur and the problem to be solved. Revere Middle School Principal Bill Conley explained what this means for the middle school and for the district. 

“[The addition of these buttons] means that we have another layer of security if needed and for our district, it shows that they care about our well being and safety,” Conley said. 

With the recent construction of the brand new Bath Elementary school, designers were able to create an excellent state of the art security system. In order to stay comparable with the brand new school, all of the Revere schools underwent recent safety updates. Revere Superintendent, Matthew Montgomery, explained the purpose of these updates.

“Bath is kind of the isolated example, since it is a completely new building with state of the art technology and security. Safety engineers were at the table when we were designing that building. The Revere school foundation partnered with the district to provide safety upgrades to Richfield and Bath and the middle school, because they weren’t built new. The lock down buttons were provided largely to increase or level the amount of security among all four buildings despite if they were being built brand new or being renovated,” Montgomery said.

One of the most important ways to lessen the effects of a shooting is to decrease the time it takes to make an initial call to the law enforcement and the actual time it takes police and firefighters to arrive. These buttons will significantly decrease the time it takes to notify first responders and get them there to solve the issue. 

“A lot of things happen automatically when the button is pushed. It raises the ability to put the building in a lockdown, and it increases accessibility when putting the building in a lockdown scenario from multiple points within a building which is really important. Research suggests that the biggest increase in minimizing the impact and aftermath of a school shooting is to minimize [first responders] response time,” Montgomery said.

Revere Middle school has added seven buttons located around the school. The buttons are strategically placed around each school. At the Middle School, there is one button in all of the schools main hallways, one in the library, and one in the principal’s office. School Resource Officer Scott Dressler explained what happens when the button is pushed. 

“An audible alarm will sound when the cover is lifted. When you actually push the red button, an alarm will be sent to police, fire and several administrators. It gives exact location and puts the school in lockdown,” Dressler said. 

In addition to an alarm sounding and a text being sent to important administrators, all the doors will be locked and key cards will no longer work for getting inside the building. Most staff’s keycards will no longer be active. Using the new alarm system, first responders will have a key that is programmed to work no matter the situation. 

“All first responders will also have a key that has access that has been programmed in, and if you go into a lockdown their key card would still work, while another person will not. We have predetermined who would be able to come in during those situations,” Montgomery said.

    The new lockdown buttons are not the only new addition to Revere schools in order to improve security. All four of the schools in the district are keeping updated with the latest technology to keep students and staff safe.  

“A lot of school protocols are standard and compliant with safer schools. Revere is staying current with modern technology to keep our students safe.  In the last year, we have added secure vestibules [and] ABS panic alarms. We have also added and upgraded our cameras. The panic alarm offers the ability to report a situation from multiple areas throughout the district. This can be done safely and alerts police and fire immediately of their location,” Dressler said.  

Richfield Elementary School and Revere Middle school received new PA systems to replace the old outdated systems. Prior to the addition of these brand new PA systems, teachers were sometimes unable to call the office or hear announcements within certain parts of the school. Hearing announcements in a lockdown situation is extremely important, so the addition of these new PA systems was necessary. With these new PA and speaker systems, different noises are able to be played in order to alert students in staff in an emergency. These sounds will differentiate based on the event occurring. 

“Because [the old systems] were so dated, teachers couldn’t call the office. They couldn’t call them as    efficiently and there were areas where there was no sound for PA announcements, which are really important in Lockdown situations, or when you are trying to communicate in an emergency situation in hallways. So there were new PA systems installed, new speaker systems installed. The PA systems also allow different sounds to be emitted when there is a fire drill versus a lockdown,” Montgomery said. 

In addition to new speakers on the insides of the schools, there were also new speakers and strobe lights attached to the outside of the school. These new additions will help to alert people who are outside when an emergency situation occurs. Prior to this, when students were outside playing on the playground and there was an emergency situation inside the school, the students on the playground would have no idea what was going on or what to do. Now, there will be strobe lights to warn them and speakers that will be able to give directions and notify staff of what is occurring.

 “There were strobe lights installed for when you have the building in an emergency lockdown, and there were speakers installed on the outside of the building. If the building is in lockdown, the strobes and speakers [will turn on]. [We] now will be able to alert those people that are outside what is happening,” Montgomery said.

Revere schools continues to improve for students and staff. Conley is thankful for all the recent contributions to continue to make Revere a safe and welcoming place. 

“We are truly blessed that our School Board, Superintendent, and community members continue to put our students and employees first when it comes to safety and security,” Conley said.

Students often know more of what is happening in school than administrators are aware. Both Conley and Officer Dressler encourage to follow the district slogan ‘see something, say something’ and to make sure to tell someone if something comes up that may disrupt school. 

“The students are often more aware of what is going on in the school than the staff. If they were to overhear or see something that could be harmful to students, they can hit a panic alarm. The students [also] have [many] options when it comes to see something, say something: A. Staff, Guidance or Admin, B. me [Officer Dressler] or C the tipline,” Dressler said.

Revere Students and staff are encouraged to report anything suspicious that they see or hear. There is an anonymous tip line set up to help students report anything suspicious or any possible threats to the school.

“Our students do a phenomenal job at reporting suspicious activity or possible harmful issues. I would like to encourage all our students and staff to report anything they feel uncomfortable about immediately. We follow the see something, say something slogan. I also believe we can do more than that,  we can also do something,” Dressler said.