Reporter's Notebook: Jessica Lewis

I parked my car on the far side of the parking lot at Norwich Middle School and waited for a few moments, collecting my thoughts and calming my nerves. I surveyed the building, and immediately saw three separate sets of doors; each had signs displayed in the window directing visitors to the office. Never having been to the middle school, I was unsure which set of doors would lead me to the office, so I started at the end, and began trying to gain entry. I attempted to open three separate sets of doors, all of which were locked. The last set of doors I tried was located adjacent to the office, so I assumed I had been seen, and entered through the designated entrance. I found myself in the main office. The receptionist immediately directed me to sign in. The door to the school was against the opposite wall; there was no way to sneak through the office undetected. I asked to speak with the principal about school security, but was not able to do so at the time.

In a later phone call, Middle School Principal Lisa Shuchman told me security is a high priority in the district. She explained the security measures that were in place. “All staff are required to have badges,” Shuchman said. “Adults and students must enter through the main office, and all other doors remain locked.” Although school security is a top priority, Shuchman does not seem to think it is much of a threat. “People know I see things, and I know who is coming in and out of the building,” she said. Shuchman said the school can never be too safe. Pre-emptive measures like installing metal detectors are not currently necessary in the Norwich District, but if the need were to arise, Shuchman said she would not be opposed to it.

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