Griffith school officials say students safer with new measures

2013-02-17T19:00:00Z 2013-02-17T22:39:12Z Griffith school officials say students safer with new measuresCHARLES F. HABER Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
February 17, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | The town's public schools are safer since the tragic Connecticut school shootings in December, the School Board said Thursday.

Changes have been made to improve security throughout the school system, district Treasurer Jeannette Bapst said.

"We knew we had a gap in our entryways and knew it was time" to fix them, she said.

The middle school has an entrance, known as Door A, that features an electronic entry system leading to a secured lobby, Bapst said.

Anyone arriving at the school after classes have started must enter through this door, Bapst said.

Visitors can do business with school system employees, but do not have access to the students, she said.

In the past, visitors were simply buzzed in by the office staff before entering a large lobby that leads to the classroom hallways.

In other measures, all students and employees in the middle and high schools must wear identification badges. All adults in the elementary schools also wear ID badges.

Door alarms also were installed, Bapst said.

School Resource Officer Peter Ghrist, who received a plaque of recognition during the meeting, provides regular training to staff.

Along with changes in procedure, some physical changes have been made to the building to restrict access to students in their classrooms, Bapst said.

Similar safety upgrades have been made at the other schools, board members said.

In other business, the board addressed a rumor among parents that the middle and high schools are going to merge. One mother was concerned that her eighth-grade student could be mixed in with 18-year-old students if they shared the same classrooms.

"They are just rumors," Superintendent Peter Morikis said, adding that such as merger has never been discussed.

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