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FRHSD Evaluates Security and Makes Changes

The district is collaborating with local law enforcement officials.

The Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD) completed their safety and security plan in November, several weeks prior to the Newtown, Conn. shooting. In the aftermath of the tragedy, however, the district is working in conjunction with local law enforcement officials to ensure the protection of all students.

“It was very important to us when we came together as an administrative team to take a look at what we were doing as it related to our security, to not focus on a lot of the good work that has already been underway to improve our security in our school district, and not to jump to any knee-jerk reactions without fully vetting those reactions,” FRHSD Superintendent Charles Sampson said at the Board of Education meeting last week.

The administrative team evaluated the district's infrastructure and physical plant, looking at the security of the buildings, doors, exterior exits, and systems within the buildings, according to Sampson.

Some new changes to the security of the buildings include the installation of buzzer systems with cameras and having security guards man the areas by the entrance of the high school and at the delivery areas of the building.

The use of personnel was also evaluated, Sampson said, including the deployment of school security officers and the utilization of teachers on duty periods. Each of the district buildings currently has multiple security officers, which predominately consist of retired police officers.

All of the cameras within district buildings were also reviewed. There are between 48-60 cameras in each building, Sampson said, and the district is being meticulous about the maintenance of these older camera systems. 

The law enforcement officials from district towns have worked collaboratively with the high schools to ensure safety in the schools since the Newtown tragedy. The principals and law enforcement are currently working on what their next steps are going to be, according to the superintendent.

“It is a difficult position for a school building to walk a fine line between security and serving the educational purposes of what those institutions represent in America. We are attempting to walk that line without mincing the security of our students,” Sampson said.

The district will reconvene about the security issue on Jan. 15 and will address more specific action items.

Jim Sage January 14, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Charles Sampson, superintendent of schools said, "..Each of the district buildings currently has multiple security officers, which predominately consist of retired police officers..." Well, are the ones that are retired, carrying their firearms? I think not. This would encumber additional liability which the district would not want to undertake, and spend the funds for. However, it's OK for Sampson to be generous with taxpayer monies, giving his friends pay increases--with Board approval no less. This current Board will NEVER question any motivation and/or reason for doling out pay increases to employees--including Sampson's Merit Bonus--at the end of the year. Can't wait to see Sampson's Merit Bonus (for doing what he is supposed to do) at the end of the year which can be as high as $26,000.00 dollars.
Claudine Scozzari January 14, 2013 at 10:50 PM
As part of the security changes instituted at the Freehold Regional School Districts and the K-8 grade schools, can the educational institutes of the community assist the minors in the community that have legal matters (i.e. from birth because they were adopted or have deformities/illnesses) where the educational institutes are aware of these issues. Historically, the minor legal matters of this community attract MAGAZINES and SERVICE REVOLVERS. (MHS Class Graduates of 1985-1991 - You know who you are - Go Hurricane SANDY!) Part of the security for the minors of the community may be providing legal protection from the adults in the community who were allowed to misuse legal matters and bring the legal trouble into the neighborhood. Where there is a will; there is a way. Children have to deal with the fact that there is no protection against a firearm power that was evident in Newton, CT. And, the adults in charge with the care of minors are actually endangering minors lives by allowing them to believe having a uniformed armed police officer is going to provide a measure of protection from death. Legally, a uniformed police doesn't protect you from the adults using your legal matter for their personal gain. A uniformed police officer won't protect you from the massacre that occured in Newton, CT. Law enforcement has to keep the firearms out of the community by doing their job. Indict and convict the criminal.
SRich January 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Claudine your not seriously suggesting that the school system get involved w legal assistance for minors? I'm hoping that's a rhetorical question. It seems we are shifting from the topic which is Security in the schools. CarolAnn, I am appalled that you were able to just walk into the school, that's beyond crazy regardless of a power outage, every entrance of the school should have been secured. Moving forward regarding this buzzer system, what will the criteria be for gettin buzzed in? Will everyone be buzzed in therefore opening the door to a threat without actually assessing who is requesting admittance? Will the person requesting attmittance to the school have to show their ID to the security cameras and saying what there reason is for being at the school? I think some sort of screening needs to be in place before someone is actually buzzed into the school has to be the first line of defense otherwise a buzzer at the door will be useless.
Claudine Scozzari January 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM
I got news for you SRich. The school system and the legal team may be making a buck off of what the local police union and the prosecutor's office did in this community, not too mention all of the family court matters relating to the Big D - divorce. If the legal team involved with the school system hasn't been making a buck off this issue - HELLO, not too late. In the Freehold Regional High School District, I am the legal property owner you need. The property owners in the Township haven't been notified (To all of those school teachers in the area). All of the legal matters haven't left family court yet. Worse, they are the same ones from like the 1980s. And, to all of those divorced parents who placing blaim on every school staff member, my relief was ready and waiting to purchase my property when I was preparing to relocate for a JOB in my associated industry. My relocation never occurred, but the school districts in the area are on too you! To local police union who is definitely not ready, WE ARE!
veracious January 19, 2013 at 02:54 PM
It is my understanding that security officers have tasers.

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