Newburyport School Board to Host Public Safety Forum | Local News

NEWBURYPORT — Parents will get a great overview of the school’s current and future safety measures when the school board hosts a special public safety forum at the Senior/Community Center on October 3.

Superintendent Sean Gallagher said the forum, which begins at 6:30 p.m., will give the district and police department an opportunity to educate parents about school safety.

“School safety is always the No. 1 priority for us,” he said. “We’re working with our police department and really educating our students and staff about this throughout the school year.”

Gallagher added that the school district remains involved in partnerships with the police department, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office and the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council. The district continues to conduct Safety and Alert, Lockdown Information, Counter, Evacuation – or ALICE drills.

The district is updating its security camera systems, inside and outside school buildings, and plans are underway to install a Raptor ID system.

“Anyone who enters the building gives their license, so they get an ID badge. But the system also does a kind of background check on people who enter the building,” Gallagher said.

City Marshal Mark Murray said a former school resource officer, Sgt. Gregory Whitney and current school resource officer Kyle McElroy are expected to give a presentation on the police department’s school safety plans.

“They’ll talk about the things we’re doing, like sending an officer to each of the schools and checking in with everyone,” he said. “They will also talk about the active shooter training our officers receive and the training they received as school resource officers.”

Mayor Sean Reardon, a former school board member, said he wanted to hold a public safety forum after a lone gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May. .

“I find that parents with young children want to know what procedures keep children safe,” he said. “When you have these national tragedies, it’s worth reviewing and sharing any information and making sure everyone knows that the safety of our children is our top priority.”

The public safety forum will be the district’s first opportunity to address these issues since before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, according to Gallagher.

“This year was the first year that we opened in a normal way in over two years,” he said. “So we kind of got back to normal this year and are updating the community on a lot of school safety aspects that we have in place. There will also be a Q&A session for anyone who wishes to attend.

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.