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School District Re-Instates Security Guards

Four security positions were eliminated from the budget this year, but the Board of Education voted to restore them.

While the approval of the 2012-13 school budget meant the elimination of four elementary school security guard positions, those guards were back on duty on Monday at Setauket Elementary, W.S. Mount Elementary, Nassakeag Elementary, and Minneauke Elementary.

Their re-instatement was a unanimous decision at the Jan. 22 Board of Education meeting.

"As we re-evaluate the district’s security needs, we are now in the process of bringing people back," Gary Dabrusky, assistant superintendent for human resources, said during the meeting.

Arrowhead Elementary along with the two junior high schools and Ward Melville High School had retained security guards despite the budget cuts.

Security guards the elementary schools are paid $16.94 per hour, according to district records. They do not receive benefits. Patch previously reported that Three Village school officials have said the district's security guards are retired law enforcement professionals.

The move comes as the Three Village school district examines its school security procedures and protocols in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Patch previously reported that Three Village school officials said they won't use armed security guards but that they would step up other security measures in all of its schools.

"As a mom, I am very pleased the security guards are back in place at the four elementary schools," school board trustee Deanna Bavlnka told Patch.

School board vice president Jonathan Kornreich said while security measures such as adding vestibules are necessary, he would also like to see more attention placed on expanding social services within the school community to address the issue of "mental and physical violence" that often causes one to feel marginalized and present a danger to themselves or others.

"In a climate of acute fear, there is an obvious reflex to harden our schools, to add new security features and to bring in more guards," he said. "Some of these improvements are absolutely necessary. ... However, devoting our limited resources to help create the illusion that we can make our schools impregnable fortresses may hinder our ability to pursue strategies which may make a bigger difference over the long term."

The school board is expected to revisit the security topic at its next meeting on Feb. 12, Bavlnka said.

EG January 30, 2013 at 04:46 PM
All the positive vibes, hugs and human shields aren't going to stop a bullet. I'd much rather hug my child that was saved by an armed guard, than to hug my child before closing the casket cover. The School District just failed our kids (Again) and following them is a Parade of Morons with an inability to reason, because it conflicts with their ideology. They can't comprehend in their feeble minds a similar situation to Sandy Hook. They are just banking on that it will never happen here. so they don't have to give it serious rational thought, because it will just go away like the 16 trillion dollar debt. They know damn well that if a lunatic broke into one of our schools, and their kid was in the school, they would prefer well trained armed guards with tactical training to confront the intruder, instead of team hugs No, they just long for the day when everyone will be disarmed witn no more crime, mental health counseling will make everyone a sane Pollyanna, global warming will stop and we will all live happily ever after.
Reality Check January 30, 2013 at 08:42 PM
Cody...our security guards are not allowed to be outside the schools...they MUST be inside per Administration rules...instead of dumping on these guys, you might want to talk to one of them...you will be amazed the things you learn about what the Administration is REALLY doing!!!
Mary Lamb January 30, 2013 at 08:53 PM
EG, I do not think anyone is saying that mental health is the solution. That said, as someone who works with teens, I am sure you can imagine the anger that many of them experience. Teens struggle with dysfunctional parents, divorce, drug and alcohol issues, self-hatred, peer pressure, etc. etc. Without adequate coping skills and support from family or professionals, an individual may indeed end up hurting themselves or others. Helping people to manage their anger goes a long way....
EG February 01, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Mary, I absolutely agree that children should have access to quality mental health care. Their anger and frustration is only going increase as they mature and realize the scope of the economic child abuse that has been inflicted on them by this generation. The realization that they owe personally over $50,000 of national debt and because those that gave them that debt aren't going to pay up the figure is more realistically over $220,000 and rising fast. They'll come to realize that they live in a society that punishes success and encourages government dependency and if they manage to succeed, they'll be demonized for not paying their fair share. I guess coping skills is the least we can do for the kids after destroying their future.
EG February 01, 2013 at 06:47 PM
For our rationally impaired School Board The case for armed security. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/55742445-68/shooting-atlanta-police-says.html.csp I know they still won't get it, so I'll try to find something in a third grade reader form with lots of illustrations and maybe some rhymes.

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