After Newtown, Shrewsbury Schools Will Be Locked

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Shrewsbury Schools Superintendent Joseph Sawyer formed a committee in early January to address security in schools.
Shrewsbury Schools Superintendent Joseph Sawyer formed a committee in early January to address security in schools. Photo Credit: File

SHREWSBURY, Mass. — Doors will be locked at most Shrewsbury schools during regular hours as a security precaution, in response to the December elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Superintendent Joseph Sawyer and Business Services Director Liam Hurley announced the change in security protocol in a report to school board members on Wednesday.

Sawyer had formed a committee in early January to review security at Shrewsbury schools. The committee recommended that schools serving kindergarten through eighth grade be locked during the day.

The new Sherwood Middle School building is already locked during the day, and the building's entrance is designed so that front office personnel can more easily monitor foot traffic into the building.

Other schools, however, may need to make adjustments in school monitors and hardware, Sawyer said, and the district must find a way to pay for those changes.

Hurley said the schools have increased security since mid-December, including adding monitors who receive visitors.

Shrewsbury High School's front door will remain open, because of the high volume of traffic in and out of the school.

Senior citizen volunteers greet visitors to the high school, but Sawyer said their presence stops at the end of the school day. He has recommended that someone be hired to provide additional supervision.

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I just want to include a link to a youtube video that Auburn University uses to describe the A.L.I.C.E. program. The example is a University, but the A.L.I.C.E program provides response options and ideas from universities down to the elementary schools.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYn5HMMSz6Y

(You may have to copy and paste it into your browser).

Please take a minute to watch it, if you can.

I'm glad to hear that the schools will be taking this (long overdue) precaution. I also think that the Superintendent should look into the A.L.I.C.E program that is now being practiced in schools around the country. Our children should not be forced to sit and wait under a desk, while an armed gunman has plenty of time, opportunity, and uses very little effort to hurt them. The highest number of students killed in school shootings has been in those schools that practice "Lockdown". Over 14 years ago, the students in the library of Columbine High School were forced to adhere to the lockdown procedure- and it cost half the students their lives. An exit door in the library was only 15 feet away, but they were conditioned and told by a teacher in the room to stay under the tables. Those two monsters came in and walked from table to table- with little (if any) resistance. After being shot, the wounded students crawled out that same exit door that they could have used to escape in the first place. The system is wrong, and our children deserve other options. I encourage our Superintendent to attend an A.L.I.C.E. training seminar, and then re-evaluate our current system. It does not 'replace' Lockdown, but creates other options, ideas, and tools to protect our kids. I'm just an informed parent who has researched this topic. I want to make sure our kids are as safe as possible. If we are practicing the same procedures that produced the most student casualties in the past (Columbine, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, etc.), then I'm not convinced our kids are as safe in our schools as we would like to believe.