It’s only the end of February and the 18th school shooting of 2018 brings our country’s average to one heartbreaking school massacre every 60 hours. Following the fatal shooting of 17 victims and the injuring of more than a dozen others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, by a 19-year-old former student who had been expelled for disciplinary reasons and had returned on Feb. 14 armed with a semiautomatic rifle, our community has questioned what our schools are doing to keep our children safe.
Dr. Vincent Butera, superintendent of Manhasset’s Public Schools, explained the district’s safety procedures.
“I’m proud that Manhasset Public Schools has been at the forefront of implementing new protocols for security and student safety. While we cannot divulge all specifics of our security plan, we do have security guards who regularly patrol our campuses. In addition, over the past several years, we have strengthened our protocols for visitor access to our buildings and have added a security check point at the Secondary School campus parking lot. Lockdown drills are held throughout the school year in an effort to train students and staff on proper procedures should a real crisis occur.”
In addition, Butera said the district continues to hold regular meetings with police officials from the Third Precinct to review school protocols and discuss best practices. He said the district has also participated in training sessions with experts in the field of school safety and have conducted staff meetings to review procedures in preparation for drills.
“With that said, however, we are constantly reviewing security procedures and protocols and will adjust our practices, as necessary,” he said. “We continue to assess our facilities to ensure that our environments are as safe and secure as possible. We also continue to emphasize with our students the importance of disclosing information to a trusted adult if they have knowledge of a potentially harmful situation.”
Butera said the district’s top priority is the safety of the students, adding that “the administration, faculty and staff of Manhasset Schools is committed to this mission and will continue to ensure that our district is safe for the children of our community.”
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