New Castle News

Union

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
Union
  • school.jpg Union to return assistant principal post

    The Union Area School District will have a new administrator when the 2014-15 school year starts. The board voted 8-0 Wednesday night to hire an assistant principal. Debra Allebach was absent.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 08.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Union to present ‘Wizard of Oz’

    Too nice. Too tall. Too funny.Actors in Union High’s musical production of “The Wizard of Oz” transformed and fine-tuned their personalities in preparation for tonight’s opening performance. The task presented challenges for director Diana M. Borowski’s cast.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Union sets kindergarten, pre-K registration

    Registration for kindergarten and pre-K students in the Union school district will be March 27 and 28. To enter the pre-kindergarten program, children must live in the district and be 4 years old before Oct. 1.

    January 20, 2014

  • Union French classes to continue on computer

    French classes will continue at Union High School, but they will be cyber classes. Dr. Alfonso Angelucci, district superintendent, Wednesday confirmed that former French teacher Angela Berger had resigned last month.

    January 16, 2014

  • Union teacher named state executive director

    Beginning March 1, the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils will have a new executive director for the first time in 37 years.

    January 15, 2014

  • Rooney.tiff Football News: Union grad to suit up for Team Europe — and Team USA

    Jordon Rooney will be a busy man next month. And that has very little to do with Christmas. The 23-year-old will compete in a pair of football games a little over a week apart near the end of December.

    November 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • school.jpg Group helps Union students, teachers

    A robotics program continues to grow in the Union Area School District. Fifth- and sixth-graders enjoyed Education Day at PNC Park. And two jazz band clinics also were able to take place.

    November 26, 2013 1 Photo

  • photo.tiff Union Township honors fallen son

    Yesterday’s prayers and Veterans Day remembrances in Union Township were for all veterans and soldiers. But special recognition was given to fallen Army Staff Sgt. Edward Mills Jr., whose name was unveiled on a monument at the municipal building and on a stone near the flagpole at the high school.

    November 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • High School Softball: Conforti takes over at Union

    There is a new leader in the Union High softball program. Anthony Conforti, 47 of Ellwood City, was hired to replace Gary Trimble as the Lady Scots’ coach. Trimble served as Union’s coach for nine years.

    November 7, 2013

  • Business.jpg Union teachers, board approve four-year pact

    The Union Area School Board and the district’s teachers have approved a four-year contract. By a 9-0 vote Wednesday, the board approved the pact that will run through June 30, 2017.

    October 18, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

What is your favorite Easter treat?

Jelly beans
Chocolate ... bunnies, crosses, anything that’s chocolate!
Marshmallow peeps
Decorated eggs
Other
     View Results