Update: This post was updated at 2:59 p.m. to reflect Superintendent Jeff Patterson's additional comments (see below).
Looking to reinforce the Lakewood City Schools’ emphasis on safety, Superintendent Jeff Patterson brought up the issue again during Monday night’s school board meeting.
And it appears as if the district is ready to revisit some of the schools' safety policies.
"We are currently in the process of reviewing all of our safety procedures as a result of the Newtown tragedy," said Lakewood Schools spokeswoman Christine Gordillo.
Last month, following the school shooting Connecticut, the district issued a statement regarding safety in the Lakewood schools.
Patterson reiterated that message on Monday.
“Our staff is trained each year with the help of the police department on lockdown and evacuation procedures,” he said, adding that the police department has all of the floor plans of buildings in the district.
He pointed out that students and staff practice the lockdown drill several times throughout the school year, and noted that the police department is also "well-prepared to respond to school emergencies and utilizes our facilities to train for crisis situations.”
Patterson said that the district’s safety plan is regularly reviewed and updated on an as-needed basis.
The day-to-day measures include secured entrances and video cameras at all school buildings. In addition, at Lakewood High School, students and visitors must pass through a staffed security entrance and there are also eight security personnel on duty during the school day.
More from Superintendent Patterson:
This is a top priority for our school district.
Currently, we have the following in place:
- Up to date security/emergency plans are in place for all school buildings’
- All entrances to school buildings are locked throughout the school day
- Security cameras monitor access points in each building
- Staff members have received updated training on how to deal with emergency issues
- Each building conducts regular drills on lockdown procedures
- Lakewood Police train regularly to deal with potential school scenarios
- Police have access to our facilities and floor plans
- Student ID’s are required at the Middle and High School levels. All staff/adults are required to have I.D.’s as well
- We limit/designate building access for student arrivals
- We maintain a security staff at LHS and a District-wide Security Supervisor for the District
- We maintain (2) school resource police officers in the district
With all this said, we will continue to review our safety measures and protocols. We must provide a safe place for students to learn and staff to work in and maintain an inviting school environment at the same time.
Over the past few weeks and during the months to come the Lakewood Schools will be reviewing additional safety measures. We will also focus on additional efforts to educate students and staff on anti-bullying efforts and how to identify students that need emotional and/or psychological support.
These additional safety measures will come, in most cases, with additional costs. As we move forward we will need to make necessary allowances for those costs.