By JAN LARSON McLBAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green City School officials met this week to discuss how to keep students and staff safe.
A special meeting was held Tuesday afternoon, with the board going into executive session to discuss safety issues. In addition to the board and superintendent, Police Chief Tony Hetrick, Fire Chief Bill Moorman, plus some teachers and administration members were included in the discussion.
“We’re looking at people who are on the ground floor of the issue,” Superintendent Francis Scruci said.
“We want to try to be proactive,” he said. “It’s not something you can put on a shelf and forget about.”
Because the discussion took place in executive session, Scruci did not reveal any specific details of the safety plans being considered.
“This is going to be an ongoing situation,” he said. “We’re going to continue to look for ways to improve safety.”
The district plans to explore grant opportunities that will pay for safety measures, rather than attempting a levy for safety expenses. However, grant funding has its limitations.
“The problem with grant money is sometimes it’s only for one year,” Scruci said.
The district is studying changes to its buildings as well as personnel for safety.
“We will explore every part of our partnership with police to improve the safety,” he said.
As the district had the new middle school designed and constructed, new safety measures were put into place.
“We looked at the original designs and we made some changes to improve safety,” Scruci said.
For example, the locker bays in the new addition do not stick out into the hallway, but rather are straight down the hallways. The new doors to the bus area are solid, not glass. And ballistic shields will soon be installed on the cafeteria windows.
“We did things intentionally with the design,” he said.
As with the other school buildings, “The Boots” will be installed on each doorway to keep out intruders.
Scruci said the district will continue discussing increased safety measures with the police and fire divisions. “We’re fortunate to live in a supportive city.”
“Safety is one of those things that’s going to be an ongoing conversation,” Scruci said.