Board tables proposed safety and security proposals

The J-D Board of Education voted 7-2 to table recommendations to modify the 2022-23 District Safety Plan at Monday night’s meeting. 

Some board and community members voiced the need for more evidence based solutions. The board will review the district’s safety audit before making a decision. An outside agency is conducting the audit which is due by the end of June. 

Superintendent Peter Smith presented the following proposals back in January: 

    • Contracting with an outside agency for a comprehensive district wide security audit;
    • Contracting with a security expert to test the procedures and enhancements put in place as a result of the audit;
    • Conducting a cell phone reception audit to identify gaps in service;
    • Hiring an additional school resource officer (SRO) to be based at J-D Middle School; 
    • Hiring three guards, one for each elementary school;
    • Expanding surveillance camera coverage; 
    • Installing panic buttons in each school that would immediately put a school on lockdown, including automatically shutting fire doors to limit building access, and 
    • Installing key fob building access controls that would limit who has access to various entry points at and within the schools as well as to exterior building doors. 

More than 50 submissions were made during the district’s 30 day public comment period. Community members have spoken both for and against more police in the schools.

“Emotions understandably run high when it comes to school safety. I put forward the best proposal I could with the information I had at the time. We all have the same goal. We want our students safe, but when people look at that goal with very different perspectives, it makes it very challenging” said Superintendent Peter Smith. 

The district’s safety plan must be approved annually by the board of education and submitted to the state by October.