High school rounds up security increases

Mar. 17--UNION CITY -- In the coming months, James Logan High School students will have to start wearing identification badges, and the campus

will close a number of gates and install surveillance cameras as part of an overall district plan to improve safety.

On March 31, when students return from spring break, most of the campus' 32 access points will be closed, and campus security technicians will check student and staff identification at the remaining entries.

Staff members already wear badges, but this

would be the first time in about eight years that students must also show ID, said Carol Gregorich, the district's chief business officer.

"We think it would be logistically smoother to have students wearing them as they walk through the gates," she said. "We're going to have to visually check 4,000 (students)."

The district also plans to relocate the independent study program from Logan to the Cabello Student Support Center to lessen the number of students on the Logan campus.

The plan, which will be presented at Tuesday's school board meeting, comes following a security audit of the high school.

The audit found that for a "closed" campus -- meaning students aren't allowed to leave school for lunch -- Logan had 32 exits.

"For a closed campus, how 'closed' is that?" Gregorich asked, as she explained the plan to shut down many of the access points.

The district had launched a risk management program in 2006 and, in November,

hired GE Security Consultants to perform a campus safety assessment at Logan.

Plans were under way to address safety when, in December, a 14-year-old Logan student was shot near Barnard-White Middle School, shortly after students had been dismissed for winter break. The victim, Vernon Eddins, was running toward campus for safety when he collapsed and died.

During subsequent community meetings, questions were raised about the safety of Logan High.

So now, in addition to requiring identification badges and closing access points, the district plans to trim vegetation and trees around the school during spring break. Several lamps already have been repaired or replaced.

Additionally, district staff is hoping to start looking in April for vendors to purchase and install security cameras for the high school and corporation yard.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Argus, Fremont, Calif. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.