BERKELEY – At the most recent Central Regional Board of Education meeting, a few residents asked what the district has done, and can do in the future, to prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida.
Superintendent Triantafillos Parlapanides said that whenever the district identifies a security issue, they move to fix it, even before a national tragedy like this one.
There’s an armed officer in each building, he said. The cafeteria can be locked down. There are cameras throughout the buildings. Last year, 3 mm film was put on windows so they won’t shatter. They can still be broken into, but it slows down someone who is trying to get in.
There are still things they want to improve, he said, without going into too much detail that someone could take advantage of a weakness.
The district is considering strobe lights that would warn anyone who is outside not to come inside, he said.
The truth of the matter is that no school is perfectly safe, he said. If someone wants to get in, they’ll find a way.
“It’s tough to stop crazy but we are going to make it as difficult as possible,” he said.
One resident, Cheryl Altieri, asked if the faculty have an ear to the students to find out what they’re going through. Sometimes, after a tragedy like this, there are signs that, in retrospect, spelled out that a kid was having a hard time and the tragedy could have been prevented.
Parlapanides said that the faculty work to make it so students always feel safe talking to them about anything. Students know if they see something, they should say something.
High School Principal Doug Corbett said the one thing good about kids being addicted to social media is that they put everything out there.
Another resident, Kelly Gross, wanted more trained security people in the school, rather than faculty being in charge of security procedures. District officials said they would entertain that suggestion.