Tri-Village News

Security upgrades planned at city's schools

Superintendent assures parents after shooting in Connecticut

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Grandview Heights City School District Superintendent Ed O'Reilly reached out to parents with an eBlast message following the Friday, Dec. 14, incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in which a gunman shot and killed 20 students and six adults.

In the message sent out Saturday, Dec. 15, O'Reilly told parents he wanted to assure them "that the safety of the children entrusted to us is our first priority. We have a crisis plan in place in each building and our students and staff have participated in safety drills. We will continue to work with both the police and fire department to ensure our plan is sound."

O'Reilly told ThisWeek Monday, Dec. 17, that the district did not take any additional action as students returned to class for the first time since the tragedy.

"We have the crisis plan in place already," he said. "The Grandview Police Department did have officers out in front of all three buildings (Monday morning)."

In addition to its crisis plan, the district already has begun taking steps to increase building safety and security, O'Reilly said.

A lockdown button has been installed at all three buildings, allowing administrators and staff to automatically lock all external doors in case of an emergency, he said.

The district plans to install security-door systems at each school, O'Reilly said.

The first will be installed at Edison Intermediate-Middle School, he said.

School secretaries will be able to see and speak to those seeking entry to the building, and anyone visiting the school will have to be buzzed in, O'Reilly said.

A plan for a door system at Stevenson Elementary School is under development, he said.

At the high school, visitors must enter and sign in at a reception area before gaining access to the main building, O'Reilly said.

The school board will review the district's safety plans next month during its annual winter work session, he said.

Parents with questions about how to address the Sandy Hook shooting with their children should not hesitate to consult with the building counselor or principal, O'Reilly said.

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