Mt. Pleasant district targets schools' security
By Marilyn Forbes
Published: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 12:41 a.m.
Mt. Pleasant Area School District is taking steps to ensure the safety of its students.
The board has approved $50,000 in security system updates at the district's elementary schools and the administrative offices.
Directors were considering making the upgrades in the fall, but the recent shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School drove directors and administration to move up the upgrades.
“We want to expand on the present system that we have,” Superintendent Terry Struble said.
“Our goal is with the elementary schools, to have the same type of cameras that we have in the secondary schools. We want internal cameras to cover the hallways and external cameras to cover the entrances.”
Struble said cameras can act as a deterrent for any harmful activity.
“If people know that they are there, it could result in a decrease in negative behavior,” he said.
Last year, a buzzer system was installed in the high school and elementary schools.
The district is not only focusing on adding more security, but is working with the students on how to handle a potential crisis.
Struble said the staff has been instructed to check to see if doors are kept locked at all times.
Staff and faculty in the elementary schools are working with the students on how they can help with security issues.
“The one thing that we do not want to create is a fearful environment for our children, but we are going to be working with Stranger Danger,” Struble said. “We have nice kids and if they see someone standing at one of the doors, they might just go and let them in. We want to make sure that they know not to do this. We also want our students to report any strangers that they may see in the hallways.”
The students will work with evacuation procedures similar to fire drills, and each building will handle its own procedures.
“We just want the students to know: This is what we do, this is how we handle it,” Struble said.
Letters were sent to district residents, informing them of changes in visiting and school access procedures.
Persons wishing to visit a school must make arrangements 24 hours in advance and, upon arrival, must register and present a form of identification.
Visitors may not confer with a student without the approval of the principal, and all visitors must have a valid reason for a visit, which can be revoked at the sole discretion of the building administrator. Any visitor not complying with the requirements of security will be asked to leave.
“We don't want the school environment to ever be one that is fearful for our students,” Struble stressed. “Being safe is being smart. We are working on different ways to create the safest environments that we can while also instructing our students on ways to keep them and their fellow students safe.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Speeding, drinking cited in fatal Murrysville crash
- Would-be burglar talked to Derry bushes, state police say
- Property reassessment remains unlikely for Westmoreland
- Scottdale Historical Society plans Christmas House Tour
- Southmoreland board moves forward to fix damaged field
- Flu shot clinic to be held Dec. 12
- LeNature’s appeal tied to attorney
- Laurel Highlands’ Christmas in the Mountains kicks off Friday
- Greensburg City Council to hear comments on health district
- Greater Mt. Pleasant landlords group’s dinner to benefit apartment fire victims
- Mt. Pleasant to hold Christmas parade Saturday