School security added to state’s fiscal year 2015 budget

The state offering a school safety grant program for schools districts across the state.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Students across western Massachusetts are just a few days away from getting back to school, and 22News is working for you with a look at the latest action by state lawmakers keep up on safety during the school year.

The state has added a new line item to the fiscal year 2015 budget called “school safety and security.” This is just a month after the state’s newly formed School Safety and Security Task Force announced new recommendations to local school districts to beef-up their security.

Those were only recommendations and not mandates, because until now, there wasn’t any funding set aside in the budget, according to the state’s Education Secretary Mathew Malone. The state is also now offering a $200,000 school safety grant program for schools districts across the state.

It is something Ludlow High School principal Lisa Nemeth said would help improve the technology side of school security.

“We probably will apply for it for more cameras for more communication services, such as new radios that are connected to the police department and the fire department, other things like that,” Nemeth said.

Some of the recommendations include developing and following emergency response plans, ensuring classroom doors lock from the inside, and tailoring emergency procedures for students with special needs.

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