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School Administrators Voice School Safety Concerns to Senator
Written by Nicole Porter
Last updated on February 01, 2013 @ 7:45PM
Created on February 01, 2013 @ 6:24PM
 
The tragedy in Newtown rocked the whole country. Now, political leaders and education professionals are doing all they can to keep kids safe in schools. On Friday, school administrators from across the state voiced their opinions to Senator Joe Manchin.
 
"We've made some great strides but I think what's happened in Newtown kind of threw us back for a loop, so to speak, because the safety precautions that we've all put in place are similar to what they had there," said Monongalia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Devono.
 
Doing so requires counties to take a step back and see what exactly needs done. Most superintendents across the state agreed that it begins with building security.
 
"Overwhelming we all feel that we need to make our buildings safe. We need funding to retrofit old buildings and as we look at new buildings and new structures we need to make sure that the design is in place so that we can ensure safety," said Harrison County Superintendent Susan Collins.
 
"It's all about deterrence. How do we keep this kind of individual, this kind of opportunistic person to be able to come in and do those things. So, we're trying to see what we can do to make our buildings more secure," said Dr. Devono.
 
For some, security means having an armed guard. There's prevention resource officers in most high schools. Now, there's questions on whether they should also be in elementary and middle schools.
 
"I certainly want to study it," said Devono.
 
Others think another type of professional can help curb violence.
 
"Counselors, the people who are able to help children in need where they have a violent tendency or a mental condition, to get them the help they need. To get the family or the parents the help they need. If we're able to identify the youngest of our citizens in our state and our country which is our children, whether it's pre-K, kindergarten, teachers see it first," Senator Joe Manchin, said he's heard from teachers.
 
Senator Manchin said he knows these things cost money and he believes the federal government will do something about school safety because it is their duty to make sure our children are safe.

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