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Archive for Monday, October 7, 2002

Superintendent says district crisis plan is comprehensive

October 7, 2002

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Despite a recent national study in which 95 percent of respondents described their schools as "vulnerable to terror," Lawrence public schools Supt. Randy Weseman said the district's precautions were thorough.

"We're probably at about as reasonable an amount of security as you can expect," he said.

In addition to having a district crisis plan, the city's two high schools employ several security officers, and personnel at area elementary and junior high schools also watch for anything out of the ordinary.

Weseman said entrances at the schools were monitored and electronic surveillance was used throughout the buildings.

The district's security level is also being audited by the Lawrence Police Department so that any weakness can be found and corrected, Weseman said.

Public schools are not at a high risk for terrorism, he said, and even more than the events of Sept. 11, it was school shootings such as the April 1999 one in Littleton, Colo., that made districts examine their policies.

"We look at things a little differently now," Weseman said.

But he added that because of the nature of public schools, "We can't become a fortress."

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