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Rain Shower,72°
Saturday, August 2, 2014
Discussing security and the fiscal plan
(Page 2 of 2)
Jeffrey Bessen/Herald
Lawrence schools is undertaking a review of it security measures after the Newtown, Conn. shooting. Superintendent Gary Schall, above, said the district is looking at an estimated $3.7 million deficit as budget planning begins.
“I think they should remove the theory of schools as ‘gun free zones’ or as some may say ‘victim zones’ and teach the children to run away instead of hid or duck and cover,” Libbey said. “Concealed carry [of guns] by responsible adults, cameras, locked doors or panic buttons by the door will be reasonable and offer all the protection that is needed.”
Lori Skonberg, president of the Lawrence Teachers Association, said her organization that represents nearly 400 district employees doesn’t have an official stance on having armed guards in the schools. “I personally do not think it is a good idea,” she said.
The district already has surveillance equipment set up and officials will look to study how it is used, who is monitoring it and how its use could be improved. “The first deterrent is getting into a building,” said Schall, adding that by possibly establishing perimeters several steps before a building entrance such as placing a security guard in the vestibule of the middle school instead of the lobby could be an additional deterrent.
Upgrading communications and having a panic button in every classroom wired to the police would be ideal, Schall said.

District, LTA still negotiating
What the district doesn’t know is the expense of a new teacher’s contract. Negotiations remain ongoing for the past two and half years. Schall said that a new agreement must be calculated into the five-year plan as well as how instruction will be conducted.
In a continuance of a stance of not negotiating publicly, Skonberg said, “We have no comment on any question regarding the ongoing contract negotiations.”
A negotiation session is scheduled to take place this month, Schall said.

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