Due to the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, school safety was the lead topic of conversation at the North Merrick School District's January meeting of the Board of Education.
"We’re certainly reviewing all of our safety
procedures in light of the horrific tragedy in Newtown," Superintendent David Feller said. "We feel that we do have
good procedures in place, but we’re making every effort to tighten them up."
Feller said that he and James Saitta, the director of facilities for North Merrick Schools, attended an active shooter conference that was sponsored by the Nassau County Police Department. They were guided through procedure of what would happen if their was an active shooter scenario in a workplace setting, such as school districts, libraries, hospitals or large area corporations.
"They wanted us to understand what the response would be if they got an
active shooter call, where the goal of the assailant is to take as many lives
as possible," Saitta said.
In the past, police would come to the scene, set up a command center, wait for a swat team and then figure out next step, but that has since changed.
“What the police are realizing is that, if
somebody was going into a school and doing this, time is of the essence," Saitta said.
Now, the police are no longer going to wait for a
swat team and will enter the building with somewhere between 2-5 officers.
Saitta also added that the "see something, say something" approach was discussed, and officials were advised to keep an eye on children and speak up if something doesn't feel right.
What other measures should be taken to ensure school safety? Tell us in the comments section below.