New Castle News

Lincoln

December 18, 2012

Shooting Aftermath: Local school districts gear up for crisis plan reviews

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County’s district attorney is planning a school safety summit of sorts after the first of the year.

Joshua Lamancusa said he will meet with district officials, security guards and police to determine what security measures are in place at local schools and what can be done to enhance them.

“We want to address security within each school and what the response will be to any emergency,” he said.

Jan. 10 is the tentative date for the gathering, expected to be at New Castle High School.

This review is in response to Friday’s rampage by a 20-year-old gunman who killed 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

“I’ve spent 33 years in education,” said Dr. Mary Todora, Neshannock’s superintendent, “I never thought we’d see anything like this.”

ASSESSING SECURITY

George Gabriel, New Castle’s superintendent, spent his first day back from sick leave Monday meeting with city police and administrators to assess the district’s security and how it can be improved.

“The New Castle police department has volunteered to assist us to assess lockdown plans of each building,” he said. “Now that we’ve seen what can happen, we’re looking at everything.”

He added that when the schools were built, “we considered education, not constructing forts and fortresses, building in ways to barricade if we came under attack. By design there are hazards, but we will address that. We will be making changes.”

Gabriel said he already has some ideas.

“Parents may not like this, but I plan to minimize the number of unnecessary visits in and out of the buildings and establish a more arduous screening policy.”

POLICE PROTECTION

Students at New Castle High School also will see an increased police presence. The school already has a metal detector, video surveillance cameras, several security guards and one armed, uniformed, full-time police officer employed by the district.

“There is security at the high school, but there may be more soon,” New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem said.

The district employs security guards at the high school, he noted. A guard at George Washington Intermediate School — housing grades four, five and six — sits at the front door and buzzes in anyone who has business there.

However, Salem said, at the city’s three primary centers — John F. Kennedy, Thaddeus Stevens and Harry W. Lockley — visitors are buzzed in but there are no guards.

“That could change,” Salem said. “Up until now, since Columbine ... we thought if we had an incident, it would most likely occur at the high school. After Friday, we’re not sure of anything any more.”

In 1999, two high school seniors in Colorado murdered a dozen students and a teacher at Columbine High School before committing suicide.

Salem noted Friday’s shootings played no part in a training exercise at New Castle High that afternoon. The session, which had been scheduled weeks in advance, was for K-9 officers.

“Since Columbine, we have training sessions all the time. They help us to get to know the school buildings.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Lincoln
  • money.jpg Districts awarded Safe Schools grants

    The Shenango and Ellwood City school districts have been awarded Safe Schools Initiative Targeted grants from the state. Each district will receive $25,000, according to state Sen. Elder Vogel.

    February 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police.jpg Child dragged by school bus

    A child suffered minor injuries when her backpack was caught in a school bus door Thursday. Police said the 8-year-old girl was dragged by the bus in the Perry Township incident.

    January 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • wiz12.JPG Photos, Video, Story: Lincoln High to present ‘Wizard of Oz’

    Ellwood City Lincoln High School will take you “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with its annual “spring musical in the fall.” The production of “The Wizard of Oz” runs tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday for a total of four performances in the high school auditorium.

    November 14, 2013 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • school.jpg New school grading system unveiled Friday

    The Pennsylvania Department of Education is rolling out its revamped system of grading schools Friday. One thing will be clear immediately: The state will be using two grading systems — one for schools with lots of poor students and another for every other school in the Commonwealth.

    October 4, 2013 1 Photo

  • Ellwood_Queen.tiff Homecoming 2013: Check out our video from Ellwood!

    It's that time of year again when the hard-hitting action of Friday night football gives way to the elegance and pageantry of homecoming. Every Wednesday, look inside for special photo galleries featuring all attendants on this year's courts. This week: Ellwood City!
     

    October 2, 2013 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Ellwood OKs budget with no tax hike

    The Ellwood City school board adopted the district’s 2013-14 budget with no increase in taxes. The budget totals $26,512,279. Property taxes are set at 15.81 mills.

    June 16, 2013

  • Kolodziej.jpg Tim Kolodziej: For the Class of 2013, there’s no looking back — promise?

    Congratulations, Class of 2013! You made it. Your last history lesson is history. Your last final — final. The unsure children who once needed help to climb the school bus steps will now stride confidently across the stage to receive their diplomas.

    June 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • Law.jpg Law Day essay winners announced

    Matthew Barnes and Hannah Branscome are the winners of the Lawrence County Law Day Essay Contest. Each received a $1,500 scholarship check.

    May 7, 2013 1 Photo

  • ecprom11.jpg Photo Gallery: Check out our images from the Lincoln High prom!

    The pomp. The pageantry. The pairs. The pictures. Yes, it’s prom season once again in Lawrence County and the New Castle News is on hand to document all the fun and excitement. We hope you enjoy our photo galleries! Today, Lincoln High.

    May 6, 2013 1 Photo 2 Slideshows

  • McCowin.jpg Athlete of the Week: Meet Angela McCowin of Ellwood City

    What happens when you’ve beaten everybody else? You look for ways to beat yourself. As the WPIAL track and field season progressed for Ellwood City Lincoln High, it was clear that Angela McCowin was running a race of her own in Section 1-AA.

    May 1, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Are you concerned enough about the Heartbleed bug on the Internet to change all of your social media and website passwords?

Yes. It’s always a good idea to change passwords regularly anyway. I just have so many, I’m not sure where to start.
No. From what I’ve read, companies are still trying to figure out how to fix the flaw. The bad guys will just have access to my NEW passwords, too.
Not sure, but I blame Al Gore. He invented the Internet, right? How’s he going to get us out of this mess?
     View Results