Santa Fe Elementary Schools May Beef Up Security

Security improvements could include cameras at entrances, change in visitor policies


The Santa Fe school district is considering beefing up security at its elementary schools following a spate of recent shootings involving students nationwide.

Extra security measures could include adding surveillance cameras to elementary school entrances and requiring visitors to be buzzed in, according to superintendent Leslie Carpenter.

The district has already spent considerable resources on improving security at the middle and high schools this year. But with three shootings in the last week, including a rampage Monday in an Amish schoolhouse 50 miles west of Philadelphia, administrators are taking a careful look at the primary schools.

"I think we're going to have to look to see if we need to do more," Carpenter said at school board meeting Tuesday. "I certainly have been very alarmed."

Next week, Carpenter plans to convene administrators and department heads to look for holes in elementary school safety plans.

In the upper grades, the middle schools already have surveillance cameras, while the district recently spent $220,000 to install cameras at Santa Fe High. And more will be added to the ones already at Capital High School later this year.

Additional steps include requiring high school students to wear their identification badges and empowering elementary and middle school principals to require students to tuck in their shirts to deter the carrying of concealed weapons.

This summer, members of the Santa Fe SWAT team scouted campuses, collected floor plans and trained at Santa Fe schools. Police said the training sessions prepared them for a swift, orderly response to a school shooting, chemical spill or other incident.