ASHLAND — You’ve heard of coat checks at fancy restaurants and at special events, but now one school district in Schuylkill County is requiring that you check your coat at the door.
As visitors walk up to North Schuylkill High School or Elementary School, you’ll now be greeted like this: “Hi can you please come in the door and take your coat off to the right there please.”
Administrators said they’re asking all visitors to check their coats here, before walking into their building.
“Well obviously anybody that may be hiding something under a coat that will be more visible, and also it gives the latitude for anybody that`s letting them come in, see exactly what they`re carrying as well,” said Dr. Andrew Smarkanic, North Schuylkill School District Superintendent.
The extra layer of security was added just after the Sandy Hook tragedy in Connecticut, even with an armed guard already in their school.
Mother of two, Amy Maziekas, said it’s a comforting safety measure for her.
“Absolutely, anything that the school does above and beyond to make the kids more safe, of course makes me feel more comfortable with my kids in school,” said Maziekas.
The district said the coat policy has minimal effect on students` daily activities, but some parents don`t think it`s enough to stop someone with bad intentions.
“If somebody wants to do it they`re going to do it. They`re just going to chop down the door and come in like they did up in Newtown,” said Cathy Bakerofskie, a grandparent.
Others said the coat policy is an important measure to take, and it allows additional time for police and administrators to know why a visitor has stopped by.
“I think it`s a start, it`s step in the right direction. There`s going to be additional measures taken, I`m certain, but at this point I think it`s very good,” said Dennis Kergick, a father.
The Superintendent at North Schuylkill School District said his Administration and Board are already exploring other ways to heighten security even more at their schools, making safety a top priority. However, for security purposes he didn’t share those ideas with us just yet.