School board to discuss school safety with city council - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

School board to discuss school safety with city council

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By: Ashley Harding

City and school board officials are set to discuss keeping our schools safe. This is all in wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

Come Tuesday morning, the LPS school board and the Lincoln city council will officially begin trading ideas on how to keep our schools free of violence. They say they'll start with evaluating the measures they already have in place and make adjustments.

 "We need to ask, 'what makes sense for Lincoln, Nebraska? How do we protect our children and not impede the education, not put them in a penal system?' So, a lot of factors there," said Councilman Jon Camp.

Lincoln public schools already have several safety measures in effect. Visitor sign-ins are standard practice and lock downs are put into order should the need arise. One thing officials do plan to address Tuesday is open communication amongst students and teachers. LPS Board President Dr. Ed Zimmer says this is the first step in preventing incidents.

 "The real basis of it is people watching out for each other. Adults watching out for children, children knowing they can trust their adults," said Dr. Zimmer.

Some parents have said the only way to ensure their kids are safe in school is to have an armed officer on each campus. Some city officials say that would cost $2.5 million to start up and $6 million to maintain each year. Dr. Zimmer says he expects to see this topic on the table, but stopped short of discussing the possibility of adding metal detectors or security cameras. He says whatever is decided, will be carefully constructed.

"Both city government and those of us in positions of responsibility to the schools are concerned and entrusted. We're used to working together," said Dr. Zimmer.

 The meeting will begin at 7:30 Tuesday morning in the County/City building. It will be open to the public.

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