Commissioners approve money for school security measures

The Board of County Commissioners last week voted for supplemental funding for the county Board of Education to accelerate installation of school access security measures.

In the wake of the recent elementary school shooting in Connecticut, the school board asked the commissioners for funding to add controlled entry points to county schools as part of a comprehensive security plan.

At the commissioners' Dec. 20 meeting, school board representative Jonathan O'Neal requested $300,000 to complete projects in the schools deemed to have the highest need for access security, and said the system would need a total of $650,000 to complete access security in each of the 43 county schools.

Commissioner Doug Howard moved that the full $650,000 be approved, using money set aside for other projects, and also from remaining balances from completed school projects. The motion passed 4-1, with commissioners Haven Shoemaker, David Roush and Richard Rothschild joining Howard to approve the appropriation. Commissioner Robin Frazier opposed the motion.

Commissioners also backed a school board plan to create a task force to study security measures throughout the school system. Any additional recommendations will be considered during the fiscal year 2014 budget process, the commissioners said.

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