Roanoke City School Board approves new school safety measures
ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Roanoke City Public School leaders approved a list of new school safety measures at Tuesday’s school board meeting.
The presentation and recommendations presented to the board highlighted preparation, mitigation, response, and recovery as key components of school safety.
Here’s a breakdown of what was approved:
- School Resource Officers in each school
- Safety tip line system
- Panic alarms/buttons/fobs
- Additional assistant principals
- More cameras in buildings
- Changing out antiquated lock sets
- New security technician position
- Address under-sized secure entry areas: Fairview and Hurt Park
The only item the board did not approve was school/ID badges. The new safety measures will cost the district a projected $1,720,117.
“We’ve seen the importance of SROs as partners with our kids. They do lots more than just safety, but of course in this moment in time having them there for our safety initiatives is also critical,” said Eli Jamison, Roanoke City Public Schools Board Chair.
More school resource officers is just one of the more than 25 new safety measures Roanoke City Public Schools families can expect this fall.
The recommendations approved came from a number of places including community and staff feedback.
“We also looked at cost, we also had to look at the practicality of implementation. We don’t want to do anything if we can’t do it well. So we wanted to look at our manpower, and again the feasibility of implementation about whether or not it is cost effective, is it sustainable over time,” said Verletta White, Superintendent.
School officials say this is an ongoing conversation and they are always open to other ideas.
“These are people’s children. This is their community. We will do everything we can as a school system, but the community is best at keeping the community safe and we need their help,” said Jamison.
Officials took recommendations and feedback from focus groups, the recent school’s safety summit, parents, students, and the community to come up with the list of safety changes.
You can also read the presentation on school safety here.
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