KEYSER, W.Va. — Parents, volunteers and others visiting any of Mineral County’s 14 schools this year will be asked to leave a photo ID in the office before they can enter any of the classrooms or other instructional areas.

“Beginning this year, visitors wishing to go somewhere in the school will have to have a picture ID,” Superintendent of Schools Skip Hackworth said Friday.

“If they do not have a picture ID, they will have to be accompanied by a school employee.”

Hackworth said the new requirement is in direct response to a policy approved by the Mineral County Board of Education last year as another step toward insuring the safety of the county’s students.

“We have to protect our children,” he said. “We’ve had times when people have come in, and were in a divorce situation for instance, and took their kids out of school. We just can’t have that happening.”

In addition, all schools now have video cameras installed so that office staff can see who is attempting to enter the building.

“All doors will be locked, with cameras at the door,” he said, noting that the person wishing to enter the building will have to push a button to alert staff that there is someone at the door.

“Office staff will have a monitor at their desk so they can see who is there,” he said.

Some schools, such as Key-ser Primary-Middle School, have had the video system for at least a year now and Hackworth said it has worked well.

The county is also currently in the process of changing doors and locks in all the older school buildings.

“The classrooms can now be locked down,” Hackworth said. “They will be locked from the hallway, and you have to have a key to get in. The children and the teachers inside the classroom, however, can always get out.”

According to Associate Superintendent and Treasurer Steve Peer, funding for the new locks came from the West Virginia Legislature, which gave school security money to the School Building Authority.

How much each county received was based on enrollment.

One other goal, which Hackworth said the county hopes to complete in the next few years, is to provide an emergency telephone in each classroom.

“We’re putting phones in Frankfort Middle, Burlington and Elk Garden,” Hackworth said.

“Our goal is to make it so every classroom can buzz the office in case of emergency. We just can’t afford to do it all in one year.”

School starts in Mineral County on Tuesday.

Contact Liz Beavers at

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