Region 12 ponders its schools' security
Updated 10:40 am, Friday, December 21, 2012
The question of security implementation at Region 12 schools is on the minds of Board of Education members.
Board member Greg Cava raised the issue during Monday's meeting of the three elementary schools' outdated structural design.
"These schools were not designed with a controlled point of entry," Mr. Cava said. "They have doors going every which way. This is one more reason why our antiquated buildings have to be rethought."
When Region 12 was formed, the plan stated in legal language that each participant town -- Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington -- would have a kindergarten through fifth-grade elementary school.
Attempts to consolidate all elementary school aged students in one building were opposed in court by Bridgewater and the town won.
A superior court judge determined the three elementary schools have to remain unless a referendum vote changes the district' plan.
Declining student population has raised the question of consolidation more recently. A long-range planning committee is now considering several options to deal with the student population decline.
Regarding security, board member Michael Sinatra suggested the region consider school resource officers in the schools.
Noting financial considerations of manning four schools with police officers, Mr. Sinatra suggested hiring "one liaison SRO for all the schools."
Superintendent of Schools Pat Cosentino said changes clearly have to be made regarding school access in all four of the region's buildings.
Having doors continually locked is being considered, she said.
"There are too many residents in all of the towns with keys to these (elementary) school buildings who feel they can enter at any time," Dr. Cosentino told the board. "Something has to be done to end that practice."