Board committee to study school safety
The St. Martin School Board last week formed a special committee to examine campus security following the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school.
The action was taken during last week’s regular monthly meeting following a 50-minute executive (secret) session that also included discussions of termination of paraprofessionals and pending sales tax litigation.
District 1 representative Steve Fuselier will head up the committee that will also include Wanda B. Vital of District 2, Aaron Flegeance of District 3, Jimmy Blanchard of District 4 and Russel Foti of District 5. Jim Poché of Poché Prouet Architects/Engineers will serve as a consultant.
Although no specific issues were discussed last week, in recent months the board has considered proposals for the installation of metal detectors, swipe cards and surveillance cameras at some schools.
But board members rejected a suggestion by Vital that a firm be allowed to immediately install hallway cameras at St. Martinville Primary and Sr. High schools as a demonstration project at no charge to the parish. It was felt the committee should consider the offer during its study before taking any action.
In a related matter, the board supported Superintendent Dr. Lottie Beebe’s recommendation that parish students not be allowed to participate in a National School Walkout day that was scheduled for today (Wednesday). The organizers of the event proposed that students walk out of class at 10 a.m. and stay out for 17 minutes – a minute for each person killed in the Parkland shooting.
“A walk out during a scheduled school day generates numerous concerns relative to school safety and places an additional burden on school staff and law enforcement agencies,” Beebe said. Instead, she proposed, and the board agreed, to allow a moment of silence to be held at the start of the school day on March 14.