Heading into South Burlington's Tuttle Middle School means you'll be captured on camera and you'll need to sign in.
"We have a security guard, you have to check in, you have to indicate as to what you're here for," said school Principal Karsten Schlenter. This make-shift security station comes on the heals of the Sandy Hook Shooting and is a temporary setup as the school awaits a new buzzer system for its front door. "The schools were constructed -- obviously -- at a time where this wasn't a concern; safety was not under the radar of most people," she said
The Vermont Principals' Association Executive Director Ken Page said some schools have more work to do than others. "All Schools, when it comes to safety, are not equal -- I mean it is easier to get into some than others," he said
Page is sharing suggestions for improvements from his members. They include taking advantage of school safety audits from the Vermont School Board Insurance Trust and urging lawmakers to either make exceptions to Vermont's moratorium on school construction for safety improvements, or to find other ways to fund them. "What I've said is that it would be really good at least if they opened up some avenues for people to apply for some safety monies," Page said.
Also on the list is the need for strong communication between school divisions and community first responders, as well as appropriate notification about individuals who may pose potential threats because of mental health challenges. He's also urging schools to invest in two-way radios -- something Page estimates already exist in 90-percent of Vermont high schools. "A principal can get on and call for help and either a number of people can come running or they can call 911," he said.
Karsten Schlenter said ongoing training for teachers and security drills are also key. "We want to welcome parents and the community here yet, you know, we do have the task to make sure that it is done in a safe way," she said.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:07:42 GMT
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow. Rivers are spilling their banks, roadsMore >>
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:08:37 GMT
Flood warnings are in effect around our region as heavy rains begin to move through. There is already localized flooding at some of the typical problem spots, like the wrong-way bridge on Route 15 inMore >>
Parts of our region are already flooding and others are bracing as heavy rains move through. Not only is rain falling fast, but warm temperatures Monday melted snow, adding to high waters.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:06:00 GMT
A man had to be pulled from the Black River in Springfield Tuesday morning. The Hartford Fire Department says it's working to pull a man out from the river. They say he got stuck about 75 feet out inMore >>
Vermont emergency workers have rescued a man stranded in the middle of a treacherous section of river in downtown Springfield. More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:02:17 GMT
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed. Jury draw was scheduled to begin Monday for Richard Gallow. He is charged with sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct on a femaleMore >>
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:27:17 GMT
Arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job. On Tuesday former firefighter Elmer Joerg pleaded no contest to setting the blaze. Investigators say the former volunteer was caught on camera settingMore >>
An arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:26:03 GMT
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. Derek Niles pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment Tuesday. He got a deferred sentence and will be on probationMore >>
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. More >>