Here’s what safety measures Racine County schools say they have in place | Local News

It’s one of the most shocking revelations and safety failures that’s come out in the days since the massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead. The shooter was able to walk into Robb Elementary School unabated, apparently because a door to the building had been propped open by a teacher, inadvertently allowing him in.

A school resource officer also apparently wasn’t on campus at the time, only driving to the school after the violence began. Then, police officers on scene didn’t attempt to enter the room where the shooter was killing fourth-graders for about an hour, wasting precious minutes, which law enforcement officials have now admitted was a mistake.

Racine County schools — from Burlington Area School District and Waterford Graded School District to the west, and Racine Unified and Siena Catholic Schools to the east — attest that all of their buildings cannot be entered without somebody inside letting them in.

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“All entrances are locked at all times during the school day as required by Act 143 (passed by the Wisconsin legislature five years ago) and all visitors can only enter at the main entrance of each building. Once admitted into the building, we have a visitor management system that screens visitors to ensure they are safe to be inside,” states a letter issued to Waterford elementary school families Wednesday.

Likewise, Siena Catholic Schools, which includes four Racine elementary schools, St. Rita School in Caledonia and St. Catherine’s High School in Racine, told its families in a letter: “Secure entrances and routine emergency drills are in place at all six Siena schools , we continue to work with officials on ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training — emergency preparedness and active shooter training — and prioritize investing in additional security. We are committed to exploring the safety measures needed in the pursuit of keeping our schools safe.”



A child looks at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022.


Dario Lopez-Mills, Associated Press

Siena Chief Advancement Officer Kimberly Gardner added in an email: “We do not routinely have law enforcement officers or armed security in our schools with the exception of events that draw large crowds such as WIAA contests and community-wide fundraisers, or safety drills. We do, however, have well-established relationships with the City of Racine Police Department and Caledonia Police Department to draw on as needed.”

At Burlington public schools, badges are needed to enter any exterior door. More outdoor surveillance cameras were also added following a $43.5 million referendum that passed in 2018 and BASD receiving grants from the Department of Justice.

At Karcher Middle School, BASD’s newest building, which opened at the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, “has added safety features, such as doors to the wings can be closed,” district spokesperson Julie Thomas said in an email.



New Karcher Middle School

Middle school students were greeted by BASD staff and a brand new Karcher Middle School, which made its debut Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021.


Lauren Henning


At all Racine Unified schools, “All visitors to our schools must hit a buzzer and look into the camera to tell the office staff the purpose of their visit before being buzzed in. They are then buzzed into the main office and must go through there and sign in before being able to enter the school itself,” RUSD Chief of Communication Stacy Tapp said in an email. “In the main office, we have a system called Raptor. Before entering the school — beyond the office — visitors must show a valid photo ID and a background check is run against the sexual offender registry.Once cleared, they receive a visitor’s badge.”

Burlington High School and RUSD’s three primary high schools — Horlick, Case and Park — have full-time school resource officers who are sworn, full-time police officers. There’s also an SRO that rotates between RUSD’s middle schools. Part-time, off-duty officers are also occasionally hired as security by RUSD.

Photos: Scenes of mourning in Uvalde

APTOPIX Texas school shoot

Crosses with the names of Tuesday’s shooting victims are placed outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Jae C Hong

APTOPIX Texas school shoot

A family pays their respects next to crosses bearing the names of Tuesday’s shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Jae C Hong

Texas school shoot

Messages are written on a cross honoring Irma Garcia, a teacher who was killed in this week’s elementary school shooting, in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Jae C Hong

Texas school shoot

Children pray and pay their respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

A child writes a message on a cross at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

APTOPIX Texas school shoot

A woman reacts as she pays her respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

A child leaves flowers at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

APTOPIX Texas school shoot

People gather at a memorial site to pay their respects for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)


Jae C Hong

Texas school shoot

A vehicle passes an electronic billboard Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Richland, Miss., that expresses support for the residents of Uvalde, Texas, in the wake of the deadly school shooting Tuesday. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


Rogelio V. Solis

Texas shoot

Candles are lit at dawn at a memorial site in the town square for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)


Wong Maye-E

Texas shoot

Balloons and candles adorn a memorial site in the town square for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting early morning Friday, May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)


Wong Maye-E

Texas shoot

Lights illuminate a cross made of flowers at a memorial site in the town square for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)


Wong Maye-E

Texas shoot

Eloise Castro, 75 a resident of Uvalde visits a memorial site to lay flowers and a candle in the town square for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting on Friday, May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)


Wong Maye-E

APTOPIX Texas school shoot

Vincent Salazar, right, father of Layla Salazar, weeps while kneeling in front of a cross with his daughter’s name at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

A young man places flowers while paying his respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

A woman pays her respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

A woman pays her respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

People place flowers at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

A child looks at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

Texas school shoot

People pay their respects at a memorial site for the victims killed in this week’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Friday, May 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)


Dario Lopez Mills

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