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Rochester Public Schools Plan Security Upgrade

Posted at: 02/19/2013 9:37 PM
Updated at: 02/19/2013 10:46 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- (ABC 6 News) -- The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School has educators still looking for ways to keep something like this from happening to their students.

We've seen it at a number of schools in our area, going over safety procedures and even doing training drills, but at Tuesday’s school board meeting in Rochester, the board was seeking bids for a new security system.

The district is planning to add a camera/buzzer system to their middle and elementary schools. That way they can monitor who is entering the building at all times.

Sandy Hook was a tragedy that hit too close to home for every parent sending their kids off to school. "Extra hugs and kisses, I know he's in third grade but, you know, you just hope for the best. Hope for the good in people and that they’re safe," said mother Christy Deatsh.

She says she's been nervous about sending her 3rd grader to school ever since. A place that was once presumed safe. "Always concerned about my son’s safety, but after that happened my concerns sky rocketed," said Deatsh.

"Anytime there's an incident at the national level and even locally, it’s always a time to reevaluate and assess your policies and procedures," said Superintendent Michael Munoz.

It's the reason the Rochester School District is planning to add a roughly 200,000 project that would ramp up their security. "Basically it’s going to be a buzzer system, where once school is started and students are in, we would lock the main entrance," said Sup. Munoz.

Then when someone comes to the door they'd have to be buzzed in before they can enter the building, plus..."The buzzer system has a little camera built in it, but we are also asking for an additional cameras so we get a wider view of the main entrance," said Munoz. Plus a phone system to communicate with who is ever at the door.

"I think it’s great. I think it’s much needed and I think every parent here in Rochester would agree with me," said Deatsh.

"We've spoken to some other districts that have this system, have done some research, and we feel this is the best fit for our facility," said Sup. Munoz.

No matter the strategy, mothers like Deatsh are just happy something is being done. “Our primary concern is for our kids and we want our schools to be safe," she said.

Again, this would only apply to the elementary and middle schools. Superintendent Munoz says that's because the high schools have an “open campus” and they already have things like liaison officers and someone running the door check- in. However, he said they would consider it later on.