Board to hire security guard at high school
Boyertown School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to hire a private security guard for Boyertown Area Senior High School.
At its Sept. 25 meeting, the board voted to hire an additional security guard from Advanced Protection Co. to work in the high school.
According to the motion, the district already contracts with the company for other security needs “and they have continually provided excellent service.”
The cost of the additional guard $23 per hour, eight hours per day, for 180 days at a total of $33,120.
Board Vice President Steve Elsier praised the move, saying it is part of the board’s long-range efforts “to look for ways to make our schools safer.”
He said, “when you’ve added 20 or 30 cameras at the high school, there proved to be a need to have someone watch those cameras.”
Elsier also praised the “added security at the front doors. That is a very active area.”
The district’s focus on increased security came in the wake of the school shootings in Parkland, Florida and were put into stark relief Memorial Day weekend when rumors of a shooting threat against the 9th grade roiled the district.
The threat turned out to be “not credible,” but parents and students nevertheless criticized the manner in which the administration kept — or failed — to keep the community informed.
At the time, Assistant Superintendent Marybeth Torcia said the district engaged an expert, a former employee of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, who had helped craft the district’s security plan which, she said, will be put into place in three phases.
She said the school board approved spending more than $300,000 on the plan, which includes “physical plant upgrades” like cameras and other items she did not think it prudent to detail.
Torcia also said the doors at the high school will be fitted with alarms, to prevent students opening them at inappropriate times to let people into the building.
Parents and students lined up to speak at a town hall meeting in June called in the wake of a threat at Boyertown high School on Memorial Day weekend.