County School Leader: Above All Priorities, Student Safety Needs to be at the Top

By: Elizabeth Lamb Email
By: Elizabeth Lamb Email

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- School Board Chairman Dan Breeden said the district has heard from concerned parents this week after the school shooting in Newtown, Ct.

“We felt like today we needed to come out and try and reassure our community that there were some things we've been looking at and we were on top of it,” said Breeden.

Administrators plan to start a committee designed to review safety policies and procedures, which is the most extensive review in district history.

“We all love our children very much. We've got to have a society where these kids can go into school and not feel threatened.”

Administrators will rely on teachers, parents and administrators for ideas to keep students safe.

“We get too close to it. There may be someone's perspective out there that will really shed some light on something we didn't really think about.”

Administrators will keep working with the county sheriff's office to get ideas.

“There's some good things that will come out of it. It's a very tragic incident that brought this upon us, but I think there's ultimately some good measures that can be implemented,” said Rockingham County Sheriff Brian Hutcheson.

School district leaders plan to look at school building entryways, installing more school cameras and possibly hiring for a new position focusing on school safety.

“Above all other priorities, their safety has got to be at the top,” said Breeden.

The committee is still forming, but they plan to have some recommendations to keep schools safe by early January. The recommendations could also affect the district's budget.

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