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B-BP School Security Presentation set for Feb. Meeting

District officials to provide insight on current strategy and new changes taking place in light of Newtown elementary tragedy.

School security will be the focus of a presentation at the Bayport-Blue Point School District Board of Education work session meeting on February 26 and parents and residents are being urged to attend by district leaders.

A "comprehensive" review of policies and procedures, as well as changes coming in light of the murders at Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, will be provided, according to Dr. Vincent Butera, B-BP school superintendent. The meeting will be held in the high school cafeteria and begins at 7 p.m.

The presentation is aimed at providing information to parents and residents given recent feedback and concerns about the district’s security strategy, Butera said at Tuesday night’s BOE meeting.

The district’s Project SAVE committee met last week, according to Interim Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Miriam Flynn. Flynn told the BOE the district has been working since last year to update security measures.

“We have done an audit of all the schools and are updating policies such as code of conduct,” she told the board. The current Code of Conduct policy, dated September, 2011, is the lone document provided on the district's Project SAVE web page.

According to the provisions in the policy, the code of conduct is to be reviewed and updated every year. The current policy does not provide any information regarding school security response procedures but does offer insight on reprimand actions and policy regarding weapons and violent acts on school property.

District officials Tuesday night also stated that local fire departments will be provided digital files of district building floor plans and related information, including hazardous material storage areas in the district.

“We’re also installing new signage regarding gas lines and electrical systems using a color code system so that first responders can easily locate those systems,” said Flynn who added that concerned residents are welcome to call her directly with any questions or concerns.

During the meeting a resident questioned the BOE about recent security drills and practices, specifically about lock-down exercises.

Butera said the most recent drill had been done prior to his arrival in early December, and that the district will be conducting practice lock-down exercises within the next month at all the schools.

The most recent district lock-down incident took place on November 19, 2012 following a phoned-in weapons threat at the high school. School leaders then locked down both the high school and Academy Street Elementary while Suffolk Police searched all lockers and bags including backpacks. No weapon was discovered in that event and a teenager was shortly arrested for making the false weapon threat. According to the school conduct policy possible reprimands for such actions include permanent suspension from the district.

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