Greenberg: District Will Look at All Safety Options

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, important conversations are taking place in Londonderry.

Just days after a horrific elementary school shooting claimed the lives of 26 children and adults, Londonderry is already taking part in important conversations about the safety in its own schools.

According to Superintendent Nate Greenberg, a meeting has taken place between the school district and emergency management officials. A second meeting with school administrators has also been held.

"(We are) reviewing our plans, going through them in fine detail and identifying areas that we feel that we could improve on," he said.

Administrators also met with their faculties on Monday to review safety procedures.

"We feel our schools are safe," Greenberg said. "We also are dedicated to continually improving our protocols and procedures."

Similar to Sandy Hook Elementary School, the scene of the Dec. 14 massacre, all three elementary schools and the middle school in Londonderry have cameras along with a buzzer system to enter the building.

Two people are in the lobby area to check people in at Londonderry High School as well as a school resource officer.

"I think that we have a very professional staff," Greenberg said. "They will know that their first responsibility is to provide a stable and secure and safe environment."

Londonderry High School has used extreme measures before when faced with a threat.

In the fall of 2000, temporary metal detectors were installed for three days in response to a rash of bomb threats.

Greenberg said that those came about shortly after he took the job in Londonderry, although he isn't so sure that's the way the district wants to go now.

"I think we're going to be looking at all of our options," he said.

The Londonderry scares came less than 18 months after the country was put on edge by the Columbine High School incident, where two gunmen killed 12 students and one teacher near Littleton, Colo. before shooting themselves. Several self-made bombs were at the scene of that rampage.

Reports following the Sandy Hook incident showed that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza forced his way into the school.

Greenberg said that the idea of a locked door and the buzzer system is to "keep people out and to delay entry into the building in time for people to take an appropriate response."

Speaking on the killings in Newtown, Greenberg said that he was "horrified, heartbroken, and disturbed" by what he heard and what he saw.

"I don't think any rational human being would feel otherwise," he said.

At this point, Greenberg said that it's too soon to say whether any of the current safety discussions will lead to ballot items in March.

Londonderry Patch reported last month that a second school resource officer will likely go to voters, although that possible position is less a reaction to school violence and more making up for cutbacks that took place earlier last decade.

Town Manager William Hart said that his department used to have three or four officers assigned to LHS.


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