As Northern Michigan Schools Look To Upgrade Security, Vestaburg Leads the Way

“Heaven forbid anything ever happens, but we were going to be prepared and that was our first priority,” says Vestaburg Community School Superintendent Brandon Hubbard.

It’s not a thought educators want to have but with recent tragedies school districts in Northern Michigan continue to look for ways to improve their school security.

In Montcalm County, the Vestaburg school district has invested close to $200,000 in just physical components of safety.

They’ve also consulted with a security expert over the past two years.

Now just two weeks after a shooting at a Florida high school killed 17 people, schools like Vestaburg continue to look for ways to make sure students and staff are prepared for the worst.

In Amber Mobley’s third grade class, math isn’t the only subject.

Third grader Owen Munger showed us the “boot.”

It takes less than 10 seconds to install but this simple process could save lives.

Right now it offers priceless peace of mind.

“When things happen in the world like that the kids of freak out but last week what happened we talked about it and said we are ok we have the boot and we were able to go on with our day,” Ambery Mobley, said.

“The people that want to hurt us, can’t get in easily,” Owen Munger, explained.

It’s a stark reality, but it’s even being practiced in preschool.

The boot is just one of the many security features installed by the district over the last couple years.

Hallways are now adorned with new security cameras and emergency placards, glass is now protected by ballistic shields, capable of deflecting bullets.

“As much as we love to focus on curriculum and instructional practices the bottom line is if the students aren’t safe and staff aren’t safe and they don’t feel safe, that doesn’t matter,” Hubbard, said.

Safer than they were before, Brandon Hubbard says they hope to do even more.

“The safety of our students is absolutely number one. While we are never perfect, you’re in an open building, a public building, people coming in and out, I’m very confident that we are much safer,” Hubbard, added.