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Canfield schools begin work on improved security systems

Published: Mon, January 14, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Susan Tebben



Canfield schools’ plan to improve security has been in the works since before national tragedy again raised awareness about the safety of the buildings.

“The conversation started with parents discussing with us new security plans last summer,” said Superintendent Alex Geordan. “We’ve been working on this for a while.”

New security measures already have started appearing at Canfield Middle School in the form of another set of doors that leads every visitor to go through the office before they can enter the school hallways.

For all schools, a buzz-in system is to be put in place by the end of January, Geordan said.

The buzz-in system was approved by the school board long before the Newtown, Conn., school shootings and has been in the bidding process for companies to do the work ever since, according to business manager Rich Archer.

The buzz-in system is phase two of the project, which is being paid for with permanent improvement monies. The systems cost about $5,000 per school, according to Geordan, who met with a crisis-response team in the fall to discuss the new systems.

“It’s taxpayer money, and we think it’s a good way to spend the money,” Geordan said.

Also included in the security measures are camera systems at each entrance so office personnel can see who wants in. Emergency forms and files on all students are kept in the schools with alerts of any person not allowed access to the children.

Until the new systems are in place, and even after all measures are ready to go, school resource officer Steve Garstka and a rotation of Canfield police officers will patrol the school grounds and keep an increased awareness during and after school hours.

“We’re doing everything that we’ve done before in terms of communication,” Geordan said. “It all comes down to addressing issues with the youngsters and making sure they know they have people to go to when they need it.”

Geordan said he is confident his staff is approachable, and in times when anonymity is needed, the newly-implemented bully tip line is available for students and parents to report any possible harassment or trouble.

The school also is looking into a new evacuation plan for crisis situations, the “ALICE” system — which stands for “alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.”

“Even if we don’t use the entire procedure, we’re discussing using a version of it in our schools,” Geordan said.


1nipsy(157 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

It is good to see that Canfiield is on the ball with this issue and are taking it seriously. That said the bullying problem needs more attention.

Many of the Canfield behavior problems start in the Elementary Schools where children with behavioral problems are continually coddled and not dealt with severely enough. Those children in turn become the trouble makers (Bullies) at the Middle School level. Bad behavior should have consequences!

I heard the same names week by week that were being disruptive in class as my children made their way through the elementary school level. And now who are the Kids that are getting in trouble for being the Bullies..You got it the same children who made trips to the office weekly and sometimes daily at the Elementary level. Thank God the new Middle School principal does not put up with bullying, but she deserves help from the Elementary school level. Bullying has no place in our schools in this day and time, not with the events that we have witnessed as a result of this behavior...

I expect better from Canfield School District..

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2kensgirl(834 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Bullying should not be allowed in any school system. Where are the parents??? Deal with the troublemakers early on and keep after them. This problem needs to be stopped before more children are hurt.

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