Lordstown educators, police and parents look at security options


LORDSTOWN

Educators, police and parents talked Monday afternoon about safety measures in place now and ones they might like to implement. Among the ideas are changes to the entrances at the schools, recruiting retired military veterans to serve as protectors and arming custodians.

James Vivo, a former Youngstown Schools assistant principal who is now Lordstown High principal, said he believes security measures used in Youngstown might be appropiate for Lordstown. Among them were use of metal detectors and clear bags instead of backpacks.

Lordstown Superintendent Terry Armstrong said the school district started checking bags shortly after the Parkland shooting. But when a parent suggested that school lockers might also need to be searched, Armstrong said that might be reasonable.

“We check bags of every child who enters the building every day,” Armstrong told an audience of about 30 people in the former high school library. “We are going to continue doing that.”

The school district has 125 BOLO sticks, which are metal pins that can be deployed into a metal bracket in the floor to block a shooter from entering a classroom or office. “That was leaps and bounds ahead of other schools,” said Lordstown school resource officer Dave Harrison.

Armstrong said it costs $3,000 to $30,000 to add a metal detector to a school entrance. “I think they are worth it, but it’s a matter of funds,” he said.

Vivo said his focus right now is on watching the entrances to the high school, but he can’t be there all the time, like when he has a meeting to attend.

He welcomed the idea of a member of the audience who said he’s retired military and would volunteer two days per month to monitor entrances.

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