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After Sandy Hook: School district plans safety improvements

By Charles Swenson
Coastal Observer

A series of planned safety improvements will make it more difficult to get into Georgetown County schools.

“Making the front of the school more secure, I hate to put up a barrier, but that’s what we’re going to do,” Superintendent Randy Dozier said.

The improvements will be made at all 19 of the county’s schools following the shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The Georgetown County School Board approved $150,000 in January to fund additional police and deputies at the county’s elementary schools. The district already pays for the sheriff’s office to provide school resource officers at the middle and high schools.

District staff have since been touring schools with architects to look for ways to restrict access. Dozier said he couldn’t discuss the details of the measures, but he did say they will include bulletproof glass.

The gunman at the Sandy Hook shooting reportedly forced his way into the school.

“Can we slow somebody up?” was the question Dozier posed. “I know our front-line employees will appreciate it.”

The work will take a priority on the district capital improvement budget. Work could begin as early as this spring, Dozier said.

“I really don’t want to wait,” he said. “That’s a priority for us.”

The plan must be approved by the school board.

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