LPS looks at future of security at schools - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

LPS looks at future of security at schools

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Posted By:  Jenn Schanz

Dec. 14th, 2012, nearly 30 people were killed in an outburst of violence at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

With the anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook around the corner, officials at LPS are taking a closer look at their own security measures.

"The word that I keep hearing around LPS is vigilance, we're vigilant. And tragedies like that make us focus on those things," says Associate Principal of Lincoln High Mark Larson.

Wednesday, several LPS officials spoke in front of the Legislature's Education Committee about their hopes for the future of the district's safety.

A common concern is the structure of the buildings, many of them very old.

Increasing camera surveillance around schools is another priority, they're already going to be put on some buses.

Many officials back a bill introduced by Senator Rick Kolowski of Omaha.

It would allow school boards with a two thirds majority to raise their maximum levies by one cent to be used for security improvements.

Lincoln High officials say safety is something that they're constantly reevaluating. Just this year they put in place a new scanning system for students to get into the building

In order to get inside, they need to scan a photo id and check in with entrance security.

"Security comes from the whole community watching out for each other and so it's really a continual process," says Ed Zimmer, from the Board of Education.

Above all though, Lincoln High officials say knowing their students is their best safety tool.

"We have structures in place where we know each one of our kids and where each one of our kids has an adult that they know and can confide in," Larson says.

LPS Security Director Joseph Wright today testified in favor of the bill on Wednesday.

He says making sure all LPS schools have secured entrances is a top priority, that can be fixed by addressing the physical structure of some buildings.

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