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Local Districts Examine Improved Safety Within Schools

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BIRMINGHAM (WWJ) – With tragedies like the Newtown massacre still very much on people’s minds, curbing gun violence and improving the safety in Oakland County schools are the focus of a five-part series of County Public Services Committee public hearings.

School Superintendents from the Lake Orion, Birmingham, Walled Lake and South Lyon school districts took part in an informational hearing on improving school safety on Tuesday.

The meeting looked at what school districts are already doing to keep students safe and ways to expand on safety measures. Daniel Nerad is School Superintendent in Birmingham.

“We are implementing what we are calling visitor notification systems which secure the perimeters of our building,” said Nerad. “We still want to be open for business and have parents and community members involved but we need to know more today who is in our buildings. We are increasing our safety drills, lock-down drills that we are doing as an example.”

Kenneth Gutman, Superintendent of the Walled Lake School District, says security begins at the door.

“We currently have someone stationed at each door … and the front door is locked as soon as students get into school,” said Gutman. “We are in the process of installing buzzer security systems with video monitoring and we’re looking at the potential of a bond issue in the fall for further security measures, video cameras, card swipe systems.”

The Walled Lake School District stands to lose four million dollars in funding next year. And Superintendent Gutman notes that at a time when such resources are being cut, there’s a growing need to increase security resources for children.

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