The West Baton Rouge School Board decided they would hold an in-depth discussion during their January 2013 committee meeting, which will take place January 14. concerning security measures of parish schools.
During their regular December school board meeting, talks arose about the need for improved security measures following the Newtown, Connecticut massacre where a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary school and opened fire, killing 26 people, including 20 children, before killing himself.
“What went on in Connecticut is unthinkable, but it happened,” said WBR Superintendent David Corona. “Between now and the 14th of January, we can all think about what we are going to say we want to do, collaborate with our principals, and go from there.”
Corona said that principals of each school have been asked to be on hand for the discussion during the committee meeting in January to discuss security. Per the request of board member Toby Sarradet, Corona said that he will also invite representatives of the WBR Sheriff’s Office.
“What we did learn is that some of the systems and things that they had in place actually helped,” said board president Jason Manola of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that took place on December 14, 2012.
Manola said that as part of a enhanced security project, each of the schools in the parish will be required to have a copy of their floor plan at the parish’s 9-1-1 center.
“Should there be, God forbid, any type of instance like this, they will have the actual school floor plans on the computer so they can see where they need to go or what areas they need to address,” Manola said. “We are making some progress. I understand for the situation that happened, you can’t have all the security measures in place, but we need to do our best to make sure that we can at least minimize the potential, and have protection for our teachers, students and administration.”
Corona said that the discussion will help West Baton Rouge Parish to be prepared for worst.
“Whatever we do is simply buying time until the authorities can get there and apprehend the person that is creating this violence,” he said. “They’re going to carry out whatever they can, so whatever we do we’re going to try and buy time until we get somebody there to take them out. That’s basically the bottom line. It’s crude to say it that way, but that’s exactly what it is.”