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Armed Guards Considered for 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 this 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 their 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.”

Flash Gordon January 17, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Another brilliant idea from th dummies at EASD. Dummies. Can't manage money, people, or safety. Vote out these stupid school board members. Fire all the administrators. Get rid of the union. Everyone in EASD is incompetent. Time to take back the district from the same inept leadership and put it in the hands of people with common sense.
Rasterone January 22, 2013 at 10:13 PM
the EASB was elected...must be inept voters?

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