Pittsford, N.Y.—In an effort to calm fears and strengthen policies, school districts throughout the Rochester area have reviewed security procedures following last week’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Calls and emails from parents and staff began to reach administrators in Pittsford last week, according to Assistant Superintendent Mike Pero. School leaders began to review and revamp a variety of security measures.
“At this point we believe we have as much in place as we can with the short turnaround,” said Pero said.
In an email to parents, district leaders outlined several changes:
“During the remainder of the week, all exterior doors, including front entrance doors, will be locked at all five elementary schools. In addition, a staff member will be assigned to the entrance door to assist with authorizing individuals who enter and ensuring they follow proper sign-in procedures,” said Mary Alice Price, Pittsford Schools Superintendent.
A Pittsford teacher of 35 years said Monday night that she has always felt safe in Pittsford schools, but even her sense of security had been shaken by the tragedy in Newtown.
“I’m the parent of a high school teacher and I worry about her,” said Linda Traynor, a retired Pittsford teacher who serves as a substitute at Barker Road Middle School.
As for the revamped security measures, Traynor said she approves.
“I think it’s great for right now because the parents are scared,” said Traynor.
Robin MacLaughlin said she feels her children are safe at Pittsford schools and that the district has done a “great job” when it comes to communicating with parents. She is hopeful that the attention to security doesn’t end after the week is over.
“It seems like there’s a heightened awareness up front then we become a little bit more complacent over time,” said MacLaughlin.
The district plans to speak with police and security firms to further adjust policies and address any long term security gaps.