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Merrick Schools Discuss Safety Issues

In the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Merrick School officials have received a lot of calls regarding safety concerns in the local area.

" We’ve reached out to some other school districts and we’ve talked to some safety professionals," Superindent Dr. Dominick Palma said at the January Board of Education meeting. "It’s resulted in numerous ideas in how we continue looking at improving out safety within our schools."

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One change has already taken place, as the district has closed the gap in the mornings when doors were open and hall monitors were not present.

"All of the before school programs have agreed that they are responsible for monitoring the doors at that stage of the game, and then our staff is coming in earlier," Palma said.

Also, all visitors are now required to present identification upon entry to any of the district's buildings, but Palma said that school officials are still working on other measures to ensure safety of the children. One common concern from parents, Palma said, is how to identify who someone is and why they are entering the building prior to entry, and he said some technological ideas are being explored.

One idea that was thrown out was to give police access to the school's camera system, which would only be used in emergencies. That way, cops in the command unit could have eyes inside the school and could communicate pivotal details to officers on the ground.

Other ideas shared by visitors at the meeting included installing a panic button and having a security guard at the door.

What do you think is the best plan for security in Merrick Schools? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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Paul Serie January 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM
This issue must be top of agenda for the school district. I have been calling for Old Mill Road to place a security camera system since the Monday after the Newtown shooting. What can this possibly cost? The budget has to be reviewed - there must be waste in there that can offset the cost of a security system. Also, have a retired police officer monitor this from one small room at the school. Other school districts are taking drastic measures to ensure safety.

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