Martinsville schools receive added security upon new school year

Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Martinsville City Public Schools are seeing an increase in security and career education opportunities just in time for the new school year.

Martinsville students will return to school Monday.

This year, the high school and middle school have a new keyless entry system as an added layer of security. All teachers will scan a badge to open doors instead of a key and they will automatically lock when closed.

“Teachers are human,” said Zebedee Talley Jr. Martinsville City Public Schools Superintendent. “They go in classrooms and forget to lock the doors. This time, we’ll ensure that all that classroom doors are locked. Should, unfortunately, we have to do a lockdown or some criminal activities are going on nearby or we have a school intruder, we’ll be able to automatically have all our doors locked down.”

They also applied for a grant to hire a School Resource Officer for Clearview Early Childhood Center. Once that position is filled, every school will have an SRO.

“Even at the pre-K level, we want them not to be afraid of law enforcement. We want to understand that law enforcement is your friend. All of us feel certainly safer knowing that we have someone armed at each building,” added Dr. Talley.

Martinsville High School is also reopening its trade building to house its Career and Technical Education programs.

It is currently home to their award-winning robotics program, but they plan to add cosmetics, welding, manufacturing, and more.

“We want to be a part of our community’s growth. As industries come here, we want to know what it is they need so that our students don’t have to leave home. They can stay here and get a decent wage. We want our students to come back home and reinvigorate our community,” said Dr. Talley.

They hope to have the CTE expansion complete in the next two years.