Vision, hard work at Sunset School strengthens safety

Sunset Avenue School leaders are to be commended for their initiative and their vision, the combination of which is bringing added security to the educational facility, ensuring its students and staff will have an even stronger sense of safety within its confines.

As reported in Thursday’s Sampson Independent, a $5,000 Lowe’s Home Improvement grant is making it possible for Sunset to upgrade its security, adding LobbyGuard, a visitor management system that will increase school officials’ awareness of who is in the massive structure and where on the campus they happen to be.

There are two very important reasons to applaud these efforts — the fact that educators took the time to apply for a grant and, when received, the vision they had to use that grant to meet a security need they saw within the school.

Applying for grants isn’t always easy. There’s often mounds of paperwork which takes valuable teacher time to complete. But public school systems like ours in Sampson have great needs that can’t all be met by usually tight budgets. So taking the initiative to seek grants and them apply for them is imperative.

Educators in both Clinton City and Sampson County schools have done a tremendous job of writing grants through the years, alerting generous businesses of the needs within the systems. What’s more, both systems have had much success in reaping the benefits of well-written grants.

Such is the case with the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program. Because Sunset educators took the time to write the grant and lay out their need, they received needed money that will now make a difference in the school’s safety.

What LobbyGuard will do is help school officials keep a better record of visitors in the building, alert them to sex offenders trying to obtain access to the campus and ensure and monitor custody management issues with parents or guardians.

And, the beauty of the system is that all those things can be address immediately, before anyone is ever allowed to leave the office and enter the buildings where students are having class.

While this new system is a change, and change never comes easy to any of us, we hope parents see it for the value it truly is, understanding that the new system will serve to keep their children safer.

We applaud Sunset principal Antoine McGill and educators for putting in the time to apply for the grant and for taking a bold step forward to heighten security at the school, all in an effort to keep those within the confines of the school safe day in and day out.