Aistrict schedules meeting to discuss security
Since the aec. N4 school shooting in Connecticut, North menn 6FhRRO DLsWULFW RIfiFLDOs have been assessing the front entrances of each school to see what can be done to improve security.
The district is also looking at increasing the number of intruder drills at each school — currently, two such drills are held per year. arills were also conducted at Sandy Hook Elementary School where the shootings occurred, and that preparedness is credited for saving lives.
North menn School aistrict Superintendent Curtis aeitrich plans to discuss these points and more at a community forum on school safety Jan. 7 at 6: 45 p. m. in the high school auditorium.
“It’s important for our community members to HxSUHss Dny FRnFHUns they have and for us to reassure them we have them covered,” aeitrich said. “There might be some ideas brought out by parents that will lead us WR UH-HxDPLnH sRPH things. We want to have a conversation as a community.”
In a letter posted on the district’s website, DHLWULFh HxSUHssHG WhH shock and sadness he felt after 20- year- old Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and he said he has also been trying to learn from the tragedy.
For many years, North menn has had processes in place aimed at protecting students and staff, including the hiring of IRUPHU SROLFH RIfiFHU oay Wilson as security coordinator in 2009 and setting up a safe schools committee within the school board.
School safety has al- ways been a priority, aeitrich said. Highlights of the district’s safety measures include having security staff on duty at all secondary schools; a buzzer sysWHP DW HvHUy sFhRRO Hxcept for North menn High School, where a security RIfiFHU Ls sWDWLRnHG DW WhH front door; and establishing the oaptor system at most schools, which scans every visitor’s driver’s liFHnsH WR FhHFN IRU sHx RIfenders.
The district has also installed security cameras and set up a countywide communications system in each building that calls 9-N-N with the touch of a button. DLsWULFW RIfiFLDOs hDvH participated in rapid response trainings with local municipalities and their police departments, and they’re using new two-way radios to communicate in the event of an emergency.
In the time since the shooting, aeitrich has sent two emails to parHnWs UHDIfiUPLnJ WhH GLs- trict’s commitment school safety.
“I received a tremendous amount of feedback from community members saying they were grateful for our efforts,” he said.
Inside the district’s schools, it has been business as usual for students. Some discussed the incident with their teachers, who reassured them that they’d keep them safe. lther than that, students have been focused on their classes, aeitrich said.
After a week of silence following the Connecticut school shootings, the 1DWLRnDO 5LflH AssRFLDtion called for a program to arm and train guards in schools to protect students and staff from armed intruders.
Asked about their opinions on the proposal, both aeitrich and Souderton Area School aistrict Assistant Superintendent Frank dallagher said it was too soon to comment.