SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 9, 2013

Superintendent wants safety check for schools

PEABODY — It’s safe in the Peabody schools, according to officials. But in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings last month, you can’t be too safe.

“Every school, every person in this country was affected by that,” Superintendent Joe Mastrocola told the School Committee last night. “It was a challenging time for our schools.”

Consequently, he suggested that Peabody get a “full safety assessment” of its schools by an independent security consultant. The idea was adopted unanimously, without discussion.

Mastrocola explained that the board had already talked over security in a lengthy closed-door meeting prior to the regular meeting. In open session, he revealed that he’d recently obtained a grant to help pay for the assessment.

Further, he’s hoping to hear from the community in an “open discussion of some of the things we should be looking into.”

Following the meeting, he revealed one of the measures he’s now considering: “I’d like to install a badge system,” which he said could set a tone within the schools that increases safety.

He also listed a number of positives regarding the issue of safety in the schools. “We’re fortunate ... to have the full support of our community.”

Last summer, before the Connecticut shootings, he was already taking advice from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, a group that combines members of area police departments to respond to unusual events, like hostage situations and mass shootings.

School doors are secured, and two Peabody police officers currently patrol the high school and middle school, respectively, with yet another to cover the elementary schools.

“We have a good relationship with the police,” the superintendent said. “It’s even gotten better.”

As to any pressing lapses in security, he said, “There’s nothing we need to do right now.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Comments Tracker