More than a week after students returned to school from their holiday break, Metro Moore County school board members discussed the increased security measures at each campus during the board’s January meeting.
While the agenda at Monday night’s board meeting was relatively light, most of the focus was on the county’s emergency procedures for Lynchburg Elementary School, Moore County Middle School and Moore County High School.
Moore County school director Chad Moorehead reported that there was a lockdown drill at LES last week. Moorehead said the run-through was “considered a success.”
When asked about the possibility of having at least one armed civilian at LES, Moorehead said that it was not likely. He did suggest however, that there could eventually be a full-time school resource officer at the elementary school.
“I honestly expect the legislature to pass (a law) requiring us to have an SRO at each school,” Moorehead said.
He added that it was likely the state could require an SRO, but probably would not provide the funds to pay for an SRO, leaving school systems to foot the bill.
Moorehead said that during the Jan. 4 teacher in-service day, Moore County deputy Mike Rainey offered several suggestions on how the school system could make each facility more secure for both students and faculty.
He also added that the Moore County Sheriff’s Department offered to send on-duty officers to LES on a regular basis, making random visits to the school.
“Having more of a presence and being seen I think is the biggest thing,” said Moorehead. “I can tell you that both of our principals at our two schools are concerned about safety.”
Lynchburg Elementary School principal Thomas Fuhrman said that the sheriff’s department has already followed through with Rainey’s suggestion.
“We have seen deputies in our school as early as (Monday),” said Fuhrman. “I know they said there would be an increased presence … that wasn’t just lip service. We had two officers in our school (Monday).”
Moorehead said the school system was currently working on a plan to secure the hallways at the high school as well. A bid was taken to replace all the locks on the inside doors, but the cost was estimated to be close to $15,000.
School officials hope to be able to replace the inside locks in phases — possibly three — so they wouldn’t have to spend all of the money at one time. Working on one hallway at a time in an effort to have one key that would open every door is the goal.
In other business, Moorehead said the school calendar for 2013-14 was close to complete. Results from the online survey heavily favored Calendar D.
In Calendar D, the first day for students to report to school would be Aug. 5., while the final day of school would be May 23. Thanksgiving break is five days in both calendars and Spring Break would be April 14-18 and includes Good Friday in both calendars.
That calendar and the survey can still be see online at <www.moorecountyschools.net>. Moorehead said he expected to have a recommendation at the board’s February meeting, which has been moved from Feb. 11 to Feb. 4 due to the possibility of Moore County High School’s basketball teams playing in the district tournaments.
By ROBERT HOLMAN (Robert Holman is the editor of the Moore County News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org