Essex Junction Parents Propose Upgraded Security For Schools

Published 04/07 2014 05:50PM

Updated 04/07 2014 06:28PM

At The Fleming School, and others in Essex Junction, one issue takes priority over everything else.

“Safety's first,” Principal Dan Ryan said.

Ryan says it's been a major focus in the school public safety committee.

“We continuously look at how we can make our schools safer,” Ryan said.

At Fleming, Albert D Lawton, The Summit Street School, and Hiawatha Elementary there are measures in place.

The doors are unlocked but if someone walks in, a ring alerts the office.

A camera system lets the person in the office see who’s coming in and out of the school

But at Fleming those cameras are mainly for recording not monitoring.

A group of parents have proposed new measures,

The cameras would be monitored throughout the day so someone in the office could buzz people in to unlock the doors.

There's also talk about putting a film on the windows, making them bullet resistant.

According to the district, the cost to install everything at all four schools would be $35,364.

Ryan says the security upgrades are not his decision to make.

“I would let the voters decide and parents decide whether that's a necessary upgrade,” Ryan said.

The proposal will be discussed at Monday night's school board meeting. A vote by the public is scheduled for Tuesday night.

But some have already made up their minds.

“We need to keep our children safe. Especially with the way things are. People are showing up and doing crazy stuff,” Patty Gilbert said, whose granddaughter goes to Summit Street School.

Others think it's over the top.

“Personally it's not something that I think is a good idea because I think it makes the school feel less welcoming,” Sheila Porter said, whose daughter goes to Summit Street School

Some school officials have concerns about when the doors will and won't be locked but those are issues that would be addressed later if the proposal is approved.

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