School security issues explored locally

By Melissa Burnor

As students in many local schools return to the classroom after Christmas break, much of America is still reeling with the tragic massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut on Dec. 14 where a 20-year old man took the lives of 20 young first-grade students and six adults. Many people — even locally — have asked whether schools are safe.

Local school and emergency services officials are in agreement that public schools in Lenawee and Monroe counties are as safe as they can be.

Blissfield Community Schools Superintendent Scott Moellenberndt said policies and procedures are in place in the district that provides safety and security for students and staff.

“We feel our policies are appropriate and reflect the climate of our community and the welcoming atmosphere we are trying to provide to our constituents,” he said. “We all have the safety and well-being of our kids at heart.”

But he said that although policies regarding lockdowns or evacuations in a crisis situation are reviewed from time to time he did not believe there were any necessary changes to make in those policies at the present time.

“If (the policies) are wrong now, they should have been wrong before Connecticut,” he said. Not that Moellenberndt would be opposed to any changes, he said, if he thought they were truly warranted and made students more secure.

Last year, schools in Lenawee County participated in a program through the Lenawee Intermediate School District and in part sponsored by the Lenawee Emergency Management Services. Monroe County Schools also upgraded security through a similar grant program.

Copyright 2013, River Raisin Publications, Inc. This is just a synopsis. For Melissa Burnor’s complete story, please see the Jan. 9, 2013, edition of The Advance