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Schools to review safety precautions

TERI VANCE

Superintendent Mary Pierczynski will ask Carson City principals to review the safety plans at their individual schools during Tuesday’s meeting for administrators.

“We’re going to have the principals go back to their site safety committees and ask if there are any areas where they could be vulnerable,” Pierczynski said. “If there are, then they will find ways to mitigate those issues.”

School officials have been reviewing their safety plans since an intruder entered a girls bathroom at Fremont Elementary School early last week.

“We are making sure to secure all outside gates,” said Jan Sullivan, principal of Fremont. “They are all chained and locked as soon as school begins.”

She said teachers have reviewed with students that all staff are required to wear badges and visitors must have a visitor’s pass. Parents have been reminded to check in with the main office once they enter the school.

And there are district-wide regulations.

“When we knew there was a problem at one school, we immediately informed every other school of what was going on and the description of the suspect,” Pierczynski said. “Within 30 minutes, every school knew about the problem at Fremont.”

Although it was later determined by the Carson City Sheriff’s Department that the 19-year-old meant no harm, Pierczynski said schools must still be vigilant.

“We had a problem and we do not take that lightly,” she said.

Among steps to secure safety, officials are making sure extra entrances to the school remain locked and signs are posted at each school cautioning that all visitors must check in with the main office.

However, it is not as simple as just keeping doors locked. Every school in the district except Fremont Elementary School has more than one building on its campus, usually modular buildings.

“A lot of times there are no bathrooms in the other buildings and the children have to move into other classrooms at times. They have to have access to the main building,” Pierczynski said. “It’s not an easy answer.”

Each school has an individual safety plan and a safety committee to review and update that plan.

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.