Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Parents Address Board on School Safety Officials List Current Policies Now in Place

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Parents Address Board on School Safety Officials List Current Policies Now in Place

Article excerpt

Last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla., has galvanized some parents in the North Hills School District.

Several parents asked the school board on March 15 to implement programs offered by Sandy Hook Promise to educate students about social inclusion, recognizing students at risk of violence and how to say something about what they see or hear.

Tracy Borne said her kids told her about an elementary school student two weeks ago who was talking on the bus about killing himself. He then talked about guns and shooting and asked the kids around him if they had guns in their homes.

"Does this give you pause? Because it should," she said.

Students reported the student to the bus patrol - a sixth-grader - whose reaction was "he says that all the time," Mrs. Borne said. She added that she reported it to the building principal.

Mrs. Borne said that in four of five school shootings, the shooter told somebody about his plan. Seven out of 10 kids contemplating suicide also have told someone about it.

"Why are these kids not reporting these things? Because we are not teaching them how to," she said.

Jocelyn McCarty said the intruder alarm went off on Jan. 29 in the preschool where she works.

"That was the longest five minutes of my life in a preschool supply closet," she said, adding that it turned out to be a false alarm. "It's amazing how many thoughts can go through your head in a few minutes."

Lisa Weaver asked if there is standard protocol for drills and if the district is evaluating its safety procedures after Parkland.

"We continually seek to be proactive," said Superintendent Patrick Mannarino.

Mr. Mannarino said all entrances are locked during school hours, and visitors must present a photo ID to be scanned to gain access.

Most buildings have captured entrances, and the district has a "wide network of cameras" that are monitored by Ross and West View police. …

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