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Commissioners Vote to Fund School Security Projects

The Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 to give the Board of Education $650,000 to complete security projects.

The Board of County Commissioners has voted to give the Board of Education (BOE) additional funding to accelerate existing school access security projects.

In an email to parents earlier this week, School Superintendent Stephen Guthrie said that the school system has been adding controlled entry access to county schools over the past several years. Following the school schooting in Connecticut last week, the Board of Education asked the commissioners for additional funding to accelerate these projects in order to complete controlled entry point projects at all schools more quickly.

According to a county government news release, the board of education requested $300,000 to complete projects in the schools deemed to have the highest need for access security. A total of $650,000 is needed to complete the access security in each of the 43 county schools, officials said.

Commissioner Doug Howard said that the cost of accelerating all the projects, the full $650,000, should be approved, with $325,000 coming from money set aside to improve the Wheeler Building and the balance coming from remaining balances in other completed school projects, according to the news release.

Commissioners Haven Shoemaker, David Roush and Richard Rothschild voted Thursday to approve the appropriation while Commissioner Robin Frazier opposed the motion, according to the news release.

The Commissioners also strongly support the board of education decision to create a task force to study security measures throughout the school system, according to the news release. The task force will make recommendations for additional procedures, training or facility improvements that should be made to improve the safety of students in public schools. Recommendations will be considered during the FY14 budget process.

Buck Harmon December 21, 2012 at 01:14 PM
That was very Democratic ...
Kym Byrnes (Editor) December 21, 2012 at 02:28 PM
I don't know if this specifically affects the school my children attend but I do find it comforting that in less than a week, the school system was able to identify areas for security improvement and the county leadership stepped up to fund it.
Marta Cruz December 21, 2012 at 02:41 PM
My children's school just recently intalled cameras on every entrance door and an additional camera and buzzer on the main entrance. This does give me some peace of mind. But I do agree that after the recent incidents, more security is needed. I'm very pleased that they will look into identifying areas for security improvement and that the funds were allocated so quickly. I know the budget is not really promising, but the suggestions for bullet-proof doors in schools is a very good idea, I know its an expensive project, but its something they should really consider and try to get funding for.
David from VoxPop December 21, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I'm sure we can agree with the majority of the Commissioners that this is a good idea. And I find it interesting and instructive how money can be fund when the it's a priority to do so. Makes me wonder what other money can be found for the other, vital, aspects of the education budget.
Michael December 24, 2012 at 07:18 PM
But wait.....isn't this doing exactly what Wayne LaPierre, that crazy NRA guy, suggested? How can any righteous liberal possibly agree with such a whacked out idea? Armed guards in schools....the idea is insane!!.....Just read the news, or ask anyone who is anti-gun. Sarcasm, yes. But to some people it doesn't really matter that Howard Co has had such security in high schools for over 15 years? Of course not. You'll never convince some people that it works.
Ed December 27, 2012 at 08:45 PM
And Perry Hall High had at least one officer in the school when the opening day shooting occurred. But it was a teacher who saved the day. Just because a cop is in the school doesn't mean he/she will be in a position to stop a shooting.
Michael December 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM
Ed.....the Perry Hall shooting was done by another student, not a crazed outsider shooting their way through a door into the school. While it may be impossible to stop all school shootings, especially those by students, an armed police officer stationed at the entrance to a school will discourage crazy outsiders, and perhaps most students, from entering a school with a gun.
Buck Harmon December 27, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Maybe the combined police and Sherriffs departments could open sub stations at each school to operate from. This could reduce the space and cost needed for police department buildings currently being used. The schools certainly have the space.

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