‘You have to be proactive,’ Binghamton High School takes action for safety concerns

Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 2:36 PM EST
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Binghamton City School District Superintendent Tonia Thompson and Binghamton Associate Principal Miriam Purdy joined at Binghamton High School Thursday morning to introduce additional safety measures they implemented on Monday.

Before winter break, the Binghamton City School District conducted “ThoughtExchange” surveys for students and families to share their concerns and suggestions to assist them on what actions they could take immediately following the winter break.

On Monday, the school day ran on a one-hour delay schedule so the students could review the new safety protocols and behavioral expectations with their first-period teachers.

The Binghamton City School District said a majority of the safety concerns occur during the transitional periods of the school day. These times and places include arrival, bathrooms and hallways.

They introduced a new scanning technology called Evolv Express which has been installed in the entrance of the high school.

Superintendent Thompson said this form of security was chosen due to it being non-invasive while also keeping everyone safe.

Upon arrival, students will scan their ID badge like they are used to.

Then they will be able to walk through the new safety machine. This machine will either give a green light and they can continue to class, or if a questionable object is detected in their backpack, the light will turn red and their bag will need to be checked by security.

“I have not heard anything but people truly saying they feel safer in this building already. They’re coming in and they’re seeing we also have additional personnel in the lobby and it’s just an immediate safer feeling especially considering a few of the challenges we went through before winter break,” said Purdy.

The types of objects to be detected to turn the light red can include keys, water bottles and anything with a density of metal.

Binghamton High School Associate Principal Purdy said after three days of this new type of arrival, the process is moving quickly.

In addition, an increased number of monitors from Southern Tier Security will be placed throughout the school and in the hallways.

Other new safety measures this week include all students being required to wear their ID badges at all times.

Teachers are only allowed one student outside of the room at once time.

The “5:5 Rule” is also in effect where students will not be allowed to leave the classroom for the first and last five minutes of the class period.

Binghamton High School is the largest school in the Southern Tier with more than 1,300 enrolled students.

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