Guilford Public Schools were quick to respond to the tragedy in Newtown, with Superintendent Paul Freeman releasing several statements on school security immediately after the tragedy. Additionally, only a week after the shootings took place at Sandy Hook, Guilford schools held a public forum for parents to voice their concerns and ask questions about current policies.
Now, a little over a month since Newtown, Guilford Public Schools have released a statement from Superintendent Freeman on how the schools have followed up on increasing school safety.
Freeman indicates that an increase in police presence is among the many changes already taken by the school. Practicing lock down procedures at the schools, reviewing front entrances of all the schools, and revisiting the plans for the new High School are just a few others. In addition, the schools have integrated adding additional security cameras to their proposed 2013-2014 budget.
Guilford Public Schools has always been committed to providing safe and secure environments in all of our schools for students and staff. Following the tragic events in Newtown, CT in December, we began a thorough review of all of our security systems and practices, and initiated conversations with the Guilford Police Department, the Town of Guilford, parents, and staff to talk about this important issue.
Immediate actions that have been taken include increasing police presence, both visible and plain clothed, at all schools; clarifying and practicing lockdown procedures at all schools; revisiting the plans for the new Guilford High School with a focus on security; reviewing the front entrances of all schools; and adding additional security cameras to the proposed 2013-2014 budget. Our Facilities Director, Cliff Gurnham, Assistant Superintendent of Operations, Jason Beaudin, and I also attended a state-wide symposium on school security on January 17th.
We will continue to meet with the Guilford Police Department and Town officials, discuss security with our District Leadership Team, address mental health and behavioral supports for students, review plans for the new high school, consider plans to alter school entrances work with State and professional associations, provide emotional support to our students still affected by the events in Newtown, and communicate with parents and guardians regarding safety and security concerns.
We continue to recognize the safety of your children is our first and greatest responsibility.