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Are Armed Guards the Future of Easton Schools?

School district reviewing its security procedures in the wake of Sandy Hook.

The Easton Area School District could dip into its $12 million reserve fund to pay for security improvements at its schools.

Those improvements -- outlined Tuesday evening by district Chief Executive Officer Michael Simonetta -- could include metal detectors, extra cameras, panic buttons, security doors known as "man traps," and armed guards.

Simonetta made his report to the board one day after Easton Area Middle School was evacuated because of a bomb threat, and a month and a day after the mass  that left 20 students dead.

“Doing nothing is the wrong thing to do," said Simonetta.

Currently, the district has security guards and school police officers at the middle school and Easton Area High School. It had security guards at its elementary schools until last year, when they were cut due to budget constraints.

If the district chooses to hire more security personnel, then "My own opinion...if we’re going to do that, I think an armed personnel would be the way to go," Simonetta said.

Since Sandy Hook, school workers have "been much more vigiliant," he said. Next week, the chiefs of the three police departments that cover the district -- Easton, Palmer and Forks -- will visit each district school to review its security. After that, the district will have a better idea what steps to take.

Some of the security changes won't come cheap. Installing the "man traps," for example, could cost close to half-a-million dollars. It's possible the district could dip into its reserves to do so, something board members say they'd approve.

Board member Robert Moskaitis likened the situation to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"Once you envision what could happen, I think it’s government's responsibility to respond," he said, "knowing you can’t eliminate risk, but you can reduce risk.”

 

bill burr January 16, 2013 at 11:38 AM
They already have armed guards they are called Easton School Police!!!! Every school should have them!!! Gun free zones and security systems don't stop insane criminals from committing acts of violence at schools.
Eric Henthorn January 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM
Is truthful reporting the future of Easton patch ? Lol
Out if range January 16, 2013 at 03:55 PM
So what's going to stop the next idiot from calling in a bomb threat and taking shots from the tree line with his AR15 (easily effective range of 250yards) that all the gun happy conservative want him to have? That completely bypasses the "guns in school" defensive plan. It's only a matter of time before the kids all have Sniper games for their xbox's. if I can think of this, so can the nuts. SO KEEP THE DAMN GUNS AWAY FROM THEM!!! Oh, I bet the conservative answer to this is going to be a turret on every roof now. LOL
Cindy Marino January 17, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Now Administration is going to have Forks, Palmer and Easton Police Departments telling 2 SRO Officers with over 25 years State Trooper experience and know the building, students and staff for over four years how to do their job. Not to mention security officers that have kept the schools under control for over 13 years without guns. I would love to see EASD go to the professionals already doing a "bang up" job for strategies that actually make sense. Rather than going off half "cocked" and make more poor decisions. My quotes are gun references and I know I am not alone when I say GUNS are what we need less of...

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