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Lamar schools tighten security

By Sherri Ellington In the wake of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the schools have beefed up security with the help of local law enforcement officers, but at least one parent says the schools could take one more simple step ‘“ lock the doors. ’We’re making sure all our staff members are reviewing and following our safety plan,’ said elementary school principal Andrea Scandrett. ‘We’ve had drills on what to do when this type of incident happens. We’ve always been aware of visitors and volunteers in the building but we’re increasing our awareness and being proactive to protect everyone in our building.’ Among the precautions are an extra person on duty in the office before the start of school to manage visitors, extra help on hand with the school counselor and other staff members trained on the sensitive needs of children at such times. ’The increased police presence in our schools has also helped our parents, students and staff members,’ said Scandrett. The schools have three full time school resource officers on its campuses at all times as contracted services and a working arrangement between the schools, the sheriff’s office and Barnesville police department. ’Both departments have volunteered to add officers this week to encourage our students, families and employees,’ said superintendent Dr. Bill Truby. ‘We’re truly thankful for a great working relationship with our law enforcement agencies.’ Angela Allen, who called the board of education to see what has been done to increase security, has another simple suggestion: ‘Lock the doors. We can all walk in. Who’s to say a crazy person with a gun can’t?’ ’I know Sandy Hook had its doors locked and he shot them out but we don’t even lock ours,’ said Allen. ‘When I took her to school Monday, my fourth grader said, ‘˜I’m scared. I’m in the third room.’ You don’t want to hear your children saying that. This is a big wakeup call for the times we’re living in.’ She said if all parents chipped in, there could be enough money provided to give second coverage to those locked doors with security cameras, to which a person must show his or her ID before being admitted, and a buzzer system to allow them in ‘“ or lock it down. ’Parents shouldn’t be scared to send their children to school,’ said Allen. ‘We can’t watch the doors 24/7 but we can get what we need for the schools. If we care about our kids we’ll do it.’

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